Sept 2019—Construction waste is a huge chunk of our municipal waste stream. A lot of it can be recycled.
More than 480 million tons of C&D waste is generated in the US annually, making it the largest individual solid waste stream in the country.
C&D waste includes concrete, asphalt, wood, drywall, metals, asphalt shingles and other materials generated during road, bridge and building construction and demolition projects.
Over 70 percent of C&D waste is recovered and put to beneficial use by the C&D recycling industry. The resulting area of landfill avoided is equivalent to 4,300 acres filled to a depth of 50 feet. (Source)
With the right infrastructure, you can recover most of a building. When Ecotrust renovated an old warehouse in Portland, Oregon the Natural Capital Center, they recovered and/or reused 98 percent of the debris! Concrete, wood, bricks, you name it. The ReBuilding Center (like a ReStore) provides de-construction services. They come in with de-nailers and other equipment and take away all the useful components.
This article includes some tips for anyone remodeling their home or office, including repurposing materials, donating to salvage stores, and using Craigslist.