Re-Use Or Lose – Recycling Construction Waste

wood planks

Recycling is a part of our lives. As children we were told not to waste, and as adults we preach the same to our children. This current generation has been brought up on the ideals of recycling, why then is it, that as an industry we are such a wasteful sector?

Waste, of any kind, is bad economically, and it is bad environmentally. With the information mounting that promotes the cons of construction waste, why is it that this industry is so slow to change?

Well, that question may stand for the majority of traditional construction companies, many are moving towards a greener project delivery process – and they are reaping the rewards.

New York is known for its incredible backing of green innovation, so it is really of no surprise that the city would be home to some of the leaders in industry waste recycling. Build it Green! NYC (BIGNYC) is a New York based company that recycles construction waste. From demolition sites to renovated buildings, the team of volunteers for BIGNYC search high and low throughout the concrete jungle to gather reusable building materials. And gather they have.

construction waste

The company are currently sitting on approximately 75 tonnes of reusable building supplies and materials.

 ”[We have] everything from panel doors to high end refrigerators and shutters to movie props” say the company, as featured in Core 77. “Our mission is to keep these materials out of the landfill, while offering deep discounts on their resale.”

These discounrs include recycled Douglas Fir floor joists that sell for as little as $2 per foot, according to Core 77.

However – while that may seem like terrible business sense to sell for so low, the joists are $2 more than what they were bought for. The recyclers are gaining money from nothing – which is a strong investment by anyones definition.

If this industry is to become sustainable it is not enough to simply buy into the latest green technology. Waste is just that, no matter if it is plywood, piping or offcuts – it all amounts to monetary loss. In reycling or making better use of the resources we have in this sector, waste can be limited or even completely eradicated from our sites.

By Tim Moore
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