Facility managers looking for construction and demolition (C&D) debris recyclers can access a new database, free of charge, to locate service providers in their areas.
For TFM’s coverage of C&D debris recycling, read “Construction Conservation” from the March 2006 issue.
The Construcion Waste Management Database appears online at the Whole Building Design Guide at www.WBDG.org; a link to the database can be found there under WBDG Quick Links. C&D recyclers can list their services on the site to be accessed by potential customers.
The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) is offering this service to encourage construction waste recycling in general, especially for its own buildings. GSA’s Public Buildings Service is responsible for the asset management and design, construction, leasing, operation, and disposal for a real estate portfolio of more than 8,000 buildings.
The EPA estimates that 136 million tons of construction and demolition waste are generated annually in this country. This figure comprises between 25%-45% of the total waste stream depending on the region. GSA is aiming for a win-win situation in that a free listing for C&D recyclers on an easy-to-use-database will translate into more construction waste being recycled instead of being dumped in landfills.
Don Horn, director of Sustainable Design for GSA’s Public Building Service, said, “We’re interested in promoting responsible management of construction waste on job sites in communities in every state, so we created this tool to help building designers, project managers, and contractors easily find recyclers who offer services which keep construction waste out of our landfills.”
There is both growing awareness and a growing demand for construction waste recycling services. Projects such as the Big Dig in Boston and the Big Dig House─made entirely from recycled scraps from that project─have helped focus attention on construction recycling issues. The growing popularity of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building rating system, has also contributed to increased awareness and demand for reducing construction waste. Building owners earn LEED points for construction waste recycling, among other sustainable building strategies. The federal government, owner and operator of more than 500,000 buildings nationwide, requires the use of LEED in the design and renovation of its buildings.