Construction and Demolition (C&D) Debris
Construction and Demolition (C&D) debris is a large, valuable and variable part of the waste stream. C&D materials include; wood, wire, concrete, aggregate, metals, wall board and ceiling tiles. Many of these materials can be reused or recycled. Road and bridge construction materials are also components of the C&D stream. This Web site will, however, focus on waste materials generated during the construction and demolition of residential and commercial structures.
As a result of strong growth in the Southeast, many public and private sector groups recognize C&D recycling as a valuable part of cost efficient renovation and construction. These groups, including EPA, are working to increase the recovery of C&D materials to reduce environmental impacts and promote economic benefits.
C&D material recycling can be adopted at many stages of a project. It can start by directly salvaging usable materials from a job site, or by adding clearly marked containers for easily recyclable material such as metals. Programs can be expanded to highly-mechanized facilities that sort, grind and prepare mixed loads of C&D materials. Unlike municipal solid waste which may travel long distances for disposal, C&D material management tends to be local with a tie to the regional economy.
Studies about the generation of C&D materials in the Southeast are limited. The best available data suggest that annual generation of C&D materials in the Southeast likely exceeds 20 million tons – almost 700 pounds per person per year. Disposal costs for these materials could exceed $600 million dollars.
Locally, the quantities vary greatly based on economic conditions and other factors such as natural disasters. In urban areas experiencing construction and economic expansion, C&D materials may account for more than 40 percent of the waste stream. The percentage of C&D may drop to less than 20 percent in rural areas.
For more specific information on state requirements and programs for C&D debris management, see EPA Region 4 State Links. For more information on C&D debris management in Region 4, contact:
U.S. EPA Region 4
Solid Waste Program
61 Forsyth Street, S.W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960
Phone: (404) 562-8501
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