“Recycling Construction and Demolition Wastes: A Guide for
Architects and Contractors”
The Institution Recycling Network wrote this guidance
document as an introduction and “how to” for job site recycling.
Development of the Guide was sponsored by the Boston Society of Architects,
General Contractors of Massachusetts, and Mass. Department of Environmental
Protection. The Guide was written for members of the building industry
who have an interest in and understand the goals of C&D recycling,
but aren’t familiar with how it works in practice. It introduces
the nuts and bolts of recycling on the job site, addresses the
most common concerns about C&D recycling, tells how to put together
a comprehensive waste management plan, and provides case studies of
projects and projects that bring recycled materials back to the
job site in new products.
Download the Construction
and Demolition Recycling Guide (2 MB PDF - requires Adobe
Massachusetts Waste Bans for Construction and Demolition
On October 7, 2005 the Massachusetts Department of
Environmental Protection (MassDEP) promulgated regulations to ban the
of asphalt pavement, brick and concrete, metal, and wood that are
generated from construction, demolition, and renovation projects.
The regulations will become effective on July 1, 2006, and prohibit
any transfer station or disposal facility in the state from accepting
these materials for disposal. In forthcoming guidance, MassDEP
states that it will publish exemptions for small quantity wastes
generators and “de minimis” quantities of the banned
wastes in loads of mixed debris. Additional information can be obtained
from Jim McQuade at MassDEP.
Download the MassDEP
Waste Bans for Construction and Demolition Wastes (Updated
10/2005; 52 KB PDF - requires Adobe
Sample specifications for construction and demolition recycling.
These specifications can be included in Requests for Proposals
and contract language to assure that recycling will be part of
They allow the specification writer to identify what materials
are to be recycled, and include planning, reporting, and recordkeeping
Example 1 (45 Kb .doc)
is a comprehensive and detailed specification that lays out very specific
of the Waste Management Plan, material tracking, recordkeeping,
Example 2 (25 Kb .doc)
is a simpler specification that includes requirements for recycling,
is less prescriptive in providing detailed instructions and requirements
on the contractor.
3 – Fixed Asset Recovery (24 Kb .doc). This specification
stipulates the reuse or recycling of fixed assets (doors and windows,
millwork, flooring, sinks and toilets, bathroom partitions, etc.)
before demolition contractors begin wrecking a structure and render
goods worthless. In almost all instances, recovering fixed assets
is a good financial move, even as it provides social and environmental
benefits. This simple one-page spec details materials to be recycled/reused,
recycling procedures, and recordkeeping. It can be modified and inserted
into the Waste Management section of the specifications for any renovation
or demolition project.
Other Sources of Information
The following web sites provide additional examples
of Request for Proposal and/or specification language addressing
job site recycling. Most of them also provide access to other information
and resources concerning recycling of construction and demolition
California Integrated Waste Management Board
Whole Building Design Guide
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Alameda County Waste Management Authority
State and U.S. EPA Web Sites
In New England, three states have developed information on their
web sites specifically addressing construction and
demolition recycling, and providing information about
regulatory requirements and recycling options in each state.
The U.S. EPA also has an informative construction and demolition
recycling web site, which also
includes links to further information. Here are the links:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:
General Sources of Information on Sustainable Building
The U.S. Green Building
Council provides national leadership
to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable
places to live and work. The USGBC developed and manages the Leadership
in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program
and resources, along with other tools that support sustainable building.
The Green Guide for Health
Care™ (GGHC) provides a voluntary,
self-certifying best practices toolkit specifically for healthcare institutions.
GGHC’s goal is to facilitate the integration of enhanced environmental
and health principles and practices into the planning, design,
construction, operations and maintenance of healthcare facilities.
The Connecticut Green
Building Council is an independent
organization with the goal to help educate Connecticut’s building
community about the design and construction of high performance energy
buildings that are environmentally responsible and cost-effective.
for Local Self Reliance has developed a
set of seven case studies and general guidance on C&D recycling,
covering projects ranging from an apartment complex to a grocery store,
and providing details on implementation costs, cost savings, and tips
King County (Seattle), Washington offers an excellent
web site with resources on sustainable
building and C&D recycling, including resource
documents, case studies, and links to further information.
Building News is a leading newsletter on
sustainable construction, with comprehensive, practical information
from energy efficiency to recycled-content products to land-use
planning and indoor air quality. It also provides industry news, product
and case studies.
Minnesota Sustainable Design Guide is a bit bulky
to navigate, but provides a wealth of information and resources on all
of sustainable building.
Also from Minnesota, the state’s Office
of Environmental Assistance provides guidance, practical information, and case studies on sustainable
building, along with an extensive set of resources and links.
Another Midwestern web site, from Wastecap
Wisconsin, provides excellent information on C&D recycling.
It’s particularly strong on case studies and links to additional