Green construction always includes a plan for appropriately managing waste. 

According to the National Association of Home Builders, the construction of a 2,000 sq. ft. home generates around 8,000 pounds of waste. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 40% of the nation’s waste stems from construction sites. Without a waste management plan, most of this ends up in landfills, however, builders should be able to recycle the majority of its waste as it is primarily wood, drywall and cardboard.

With a waste management plan in place, money can be saved overall as it typically leads to less over ordering. In the case materials are over-ordered, many vendors offer buy-back programs.

Some materials that can be recycled or salvaged:

  • Asphalt pavement
  • Concrete
  • Gravel and aggregate products
  • Masonry scraps
  • Metals
  • Clean wood
  • Plastics
  • Insulation materials
  • Un-tempered glass
  • Door and window assemblies
  • Carpet and carpet pads
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Plumbing fixtures and equipment
  • Cardboard
  • Appliances
  • Brush and trees

Tips on reducing construction waste:

  • Have a waste management plan from the beginning
  • Only order materials needed
  • Work with suppliers to limit packaging:
    • if you use multiples of a material that come
    • individually packaged, special packaging can be arranged
    • Find a supplier that offers a buy-back policy
    • Contact local recycling centers who will take reusable materials