In the past, it was a common practice during the demolition of buildings or other structures to simply cart the waste materials away to a landfill. Today however, the growing cost of disposal and new materials, has put a greater emphasis on recycling old materials. De-constructing is an approach that involves a more careful disassembly of a structure so that parts of it can be reused or recycled. This has given a whole new face to waste management, one which reduces the amount of materials put into landfills, reduces the demand for precious natural resources and, best of all reduces the cost to the consumer.
The 4R’s of Construction Waste Management
Waste management for Bay Area construction sites in 2019 is actually more akin to waste prevention, since it focuses on Reduction, Reuse, Recycling, and Recovery. In actual practice, what that means is that wherever possible, when waste is naturally produced during demolition, we make every possible effort to reduce the level of that waste. Recycling should be practiced in those cases where reduction and reuse are not practical, because there is a cost associated with recycling that makes it the third option.
In situations where it is not possible to reduce, reuse, or recycle materials, all attempts are made to recover whatever materials or energy can be gleaned from the waste. By observing these four principles, the cost to the consumer goes down when businesses can achieve savings in the areas of disposal, treatment, storage, and energy usage.
Building materials which are most commonly recovered and recycled are metals and concrete. Swimming pools for instance can have 40 to 50 yards of concrete and depending on how its constructed, can have up to 3 tons of steel rebar in it. Both materials are a 100% renewable and consequently nothing goes to landfills. When buildings are de-constructed, there are usually large quantities of wood, concrete, masonry, and drywall which can often be recovered and used elsewhere. For older structures there is also a reclaim industry for old doors, windows, fixtures and cabinetry. Through careful de-construction, a great many materials can be used again, and this can help lower the cost of a client’s project.
Construction and Demolition Management Professionals
If you are a building owner or manager and are in need of demolition services, the company to contact in the Bay Area is Lassiter Excavating, Inc. We weave the 4Rs into our project planning, and take seriously our responsibility for managing construction waste properly.
A family-owned business serving Bay Area clients since 1989, Lassiter has provided expert excavation and drilling services as well as pool removal and demolition services to a great many clients in the region. Contact Lassiter today with any inquiries you may have, and ask for a free quote on services.