Construction Debris Recycling and Reuse

Recycling construction debris is one of the most effective and profitable ways to make building greener. Construction debris contains a high percentage of materials that are recyclable and many of them are actually very profitable to recycle. This combination of environmental-friendliness and profitability makes construction debris recycling a very popular enterprise.


The Basics

Whenever a building is demolished, a variety of materials are liberated. These include pipes, concrete, wood, cardboard, dirt and more. Plastics also comprise a major position of the materials used in modern construction and are highly recyclable.

Construction debris is first sorted so that it is sent to the appropriate facilities. The materials are sometimes sorted during the recycling process. For instance, metal is sometimes separated from concrete in the process of crushing the concrete for recycling rather than at the site of the demolition.

The Businesses

There are a variety of businesses involved in recycling construction debris. Metal is the most commonly recycled construction debris. It’s also the most profitable, so it tends to get taken out of the debris very quickly. Concrete, cardboard, plastic and drywall all of their own procedures for recycling.

Not only are there many different types of debris that are recycled, there are also many different varieties of those materials. Metal, for instance, includes the rebar, copper pipes, iron pipes and electrical cables that are torn down with buildings when they’re demolished.

The benefits of recycling construction debris are many. The carbon footprint of a building that requires entirely new materials to be completed is much larger than that of a building that is made out of mostly recycled materials. Some materials can even be reused without being recycled at all, so the benefits can be even more substantial in those cases. This is one of the most active and beneficial sectors for recycling.