Reduce Construction Waste (Job Site and Landscaping)

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Remodel for Efficient Use of Space - RC

• The average U.S. house size in 1999 was 2,250 square feet, up from 1,100 square feet in the 1940s and 1950s. Larger houses tend to have taller ceilings and more features — and therefore consume more construction and maintenance resources that end up as waste at the landfill, while many areas are running out of landfill space.

Remodeling for smaller, more efficient spaces reduces the amount of resources used and construction waste generated. In addition, these smaller homes save money — enabling homeowners to focus on more expensive quality features.

• Recommendation: Use space efficiently to minimize wasted resources.

Reuse Construction and Deconstruction Waste – $, RC

• Building materials and products, including concrete, asphalt, wood, glass, brick, metal, roofing, insulation, doors, windows and frames, tubs and sinks, cabinets, fixtures, and flooring, are often wasted when homes are remodeled. In fact, the U.S. leads the world in municipal waste production, generating zoo million tons a year, enough to fill a convoy of garbage trucks stretching 8 times around the globe. Anytime you can reuse waste from your remodeling project or from someone else’s construction or deconstruction project, you help to conserve resources, save landfill space, decrease disposal costs, and avoid the costs of new materials.

FYI: Increasing the amount of materials recycling in the US to only 60 percent could save an amount of energy equivalent to 315 million barrels of oil per year.

• Recommendation: Set aside space to separate materials for reuse. For example, extra bricks or stone might be used for a patio or walkway. Or call a licensed contractor who offers dismantling services to salvage materials for reuse. Usable items can also be dropped off at used building material stores. (Keep in mind that all donations are tax deductible, if the reuse store is operated by a nonprofit organization.) Conversely, check these stores and around your area for materials you might be able to reuse from homes being deconstructed or remodeled. Decking that doesn’t fit on a particular home (and is about to go to a landfill), might be perfect for your new deck. Flooring, doors and windows, tubs and sinks, cabinets, and fixtures can also be salvaged easily.

Recycle Job Site Waste – RC

• The National Association of Home Builders estimates that a typical homebuilder in the US pays $511 per house for construction disposal, of which 90 percent or more is recyclable. Recycling significantly reduces your tipping fees: if you recycled 90 percent of your renovation waste, you’d pay only $- instead of $ Recyclable materials include wood, metals, concrete, dirt, some plastics, shingles, and cardboard.

• Recommendation: Identify the types and quantities of materials generated at the job site. Contact local recycling facilities and haulers to identify terms and conditions required for recycling materials. Allocate space for recycling bins and containers.

Next: Implement Resourceful Landscaping

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