Percentage of Construction Waste
Solid waste management legislation adopted in 1989 and 1991 established a state wide goal of reducing the municipal waste stream. Waste must be reduced 40 percent by June 30, 2001, through source reduction (producing less waste), reuse, recycling, and composting. In 1993, new federal and state management standards were adopted for municipal solid waste landfills. Stricter requirements for landfill operation, design, and monitoring have increased the costs of constructing and operating new landfills, resulting in higher tipping fees at landfills (the charge for disposing of waste) and numerous landfill closings. Now, waste must often be hauled longer distances to operating landfills. As a result, your costs for disposing of construction debris will be higher. Your company can therefore benefit from adopting waste reduction practices.
Estimates indicate that roughly 11 percent of the solid waste produced in North Carolina each year consists of construction and demolition debris. This debris results from construction, repair, remodeling, or demolition operations on buildings, other structures, and pavement. The construction and demolition waste stream can be broken into three basic categories-(1) wood, (2) rubble and asphalt, and (3) other materials. Various estimates indicate that about half of the debris is composed of rubble (which includes concrete, cinder block, stone, clay brick, and soil) and asphalt. Wood composes about 25 to 40 percent of the construction and demolition waste; and the remaining materials are metals, gypsum wallboard, asphalt roofing material, plastic, paper, and glass. Several experts claim that 90 percent of this waste could be eliminated by reducing waste production and by recycling, depending on local market conditions for the materials.