Sustainability 101

Construction & Demolition Waste:
Opportunity for Big Impact on Zero Waste and Corporate Sustainability Goals

Construction, demolition and renovation projects are resuming around the country, and so is the flow of construction and demolition (C&D) waste.

With many commercial office spaces still under capacity and regular business operations restricted, C&D waste may currently be a businesses’ largest waste output, and thus the biggest opportunity available to impact zero waste efforts and other corporate sustainability goals.

Now is a good time to focus on managing C&D waste, which can be better understood through a waste stream audit.

BIG WASTE, BIG OPPORTUNITY

During any regular year, the amount of C&D waste generated in the U.S. is more than twice the amount of municipal solid waste. According to the EPA, in 2017 alone, that figure was 569 million tons!

C&D waste is bulky and heavy, expensive to transport, fills finite landfill space, may be hazardous, and subject to regulations and fines.

An audit offers a way to more effectively and sustainably manage this large chunk of the waste stream.

  • Get the data you need to understand your true disposal costs, what you are currently diverting from the landfill, and what you could be diverting. You could be unnecessarily sending valuable commodities like copper and steel to the landfill.
  • Uncover inefficiency and opportunities for improvement, including right-sizing equipment, more efficient pick-up schedules, and ways to cut costs by reducing waste and improving recycling rates.
  • Ensure compliance. Fines, especially for hazardous waste, can be high. C&D waste audits are especially crucial in areas where businesses must meet zero waste ordinance requirements.
  • Advance LEED and TRUE Zero Waste certifications, reporting and other corporate sustainability goals. These markers of good corporate citizenship are becoming increasingly important to investors, employees, clients/consumers, and other stakeholders concerned about climate change and resource management.
  • Verify data. Detailed audit data can be used to verify hauler data so that you know your business is getting the most accurate information possible to ensure accurate billing and reporting.

Want to learn more? Contact Great Forest at recycling@greatforest.com

Photo: Charles Deluvi, unsplash

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