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Construction and Demolition Debris Management

Debris in a dumpster Shovel loading concrete debris pile of concrete debris

 

According to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s (TCEQ) 2015 Survey of Texas MSW Facilities, approximately 6,410,338 tons of municipal solid waste disposed in Texas in fiscal year 2015 was classified as construction and demolition debris, representing 19 percent of the total MSW disposed of in the state. According to the Regional Data Center's 2040 Demographic Forecast, the population in the 16 member counties of the NCTCOG will grow by approximately 4.3 million people by 2040, to almost 10.7 million people. This much growth translates to more construction and demolition debris and waste going into landfills unless builders, contractors, city staff, and the general public are educated on the benefits of recycling more construction and demolition debris, and are given more options to prevent this waste from ending up in landfills, or at illegal dump sites.

Located below are FAQs about construction and demolition debris, along with available resources for recycling and funding opportunities.

What is Construction and Demolition Debris?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines construction and demolition debris as materials generated during the construction, renovation, and demolition of buildings, roads, and bridges. C&D waste often contains bulky, heavy materials that include:

  • All metals
  • Appliances
  • Asphalt
  • Brick
  • Carpet
  • Ceramic
  • Concrete
  • Copper
  • Dirt
  • Doors
  • Drywall
  • Earth
  • Glass
  • Gravel
  • Gypsum
  • Iron
  • Paint
  • Pallets
  • Plastics
  • Plumbing Fixtures
  • Plywood
  • PVC
  • Rebar
  • Sand
  • Shingles
  • Toilets
  • Trees/Stumps
  • Windows
  • Wood
Why is Construction and Demolition Waste a Problem?

A significant fraction of residential renovation debris is discarded by homeowners into household trash and disposed of in Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) landfills. Discarded items include replacement plumbing, electrical fixtures, lumber, and other building materials used in home repair or improvement projects. Landfills are filling up with C&D and other wastes.

Some landfills will close in the near future; therefore, it is wise to find other alternatives to C&D waste disposal. In addition, illegal dumping of C&D debris can result in future health risks, decreased property values, and cleanup costs. Proper management and reduction of the amount of C&D waste that is generated can save money, conserve resources, and preserve the environment.

Why Recycle Construction and Demolition Waste?

Reducing and recycling C&D debris conserves landfill space, reduces the environmental impact of producing new materials, creates jobs, and can reduce overall building project expenses through avoided purchase and disposal costs. Asphalt, concrete, and rubble are often recycled into aggregate or new asphalt and concrete products. Wood can be recycled into enngineered-wood products, such as furniture and plastic composite desks, as well as mulch, compost, and other products. Metals, includling steel, copper, and brass, are also valuable commodities to recycle. Additionally, although cardboard packaging from home-building sites is not classified as a C&D waste, many markets exist for recycling this material.

Where can Construction and Demolition Waste be Recycled?

(Updates in Progress). Here is a list of commercial and residential recyclers in the North Central Texas Region that recycle construction and/or demolition materials, such as the items listed above. This list was compiled to provide an alternative to landfilling C&D debris. Inclusion in this list does not constitute an endorsement or approval, and is periodically updated as new information is received.

To help keep this link current, you can help update through this link, or contact the NCTCOG Materials Management Staff by phone at 817-695-9210, or by email at EandD@nctcog.org.

You can also visit the Time To Recycle website to find other recyclers for C&D debris and other types of materials.

Resources for Construction and Demolition Waste

Funding Opportunities: Please visit the NCTCOG Materials Management Grants Page

Resources and Information: Please visit the NCTCOG Materials Management Resource Center

 

 
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