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Construction and Demolition Debris

Issue Summary
U.S. EPA
States
Organizations/Non-Government Programs
Publications
Databases and Tools


Issue SummaryC&D Debris

Construction and demolition (C&D) debris refers to materials produced in the process of construction, renovation and/or demolition of structures, where structures include buildings (residential, commercial, and institutional), roads, and bridges. Depending on your state's definition, C&D debris typically includes concrete, asphalt, wood, gypsum wallboard, paper, glass, rubble, and roofing materials. Land clearing debris, such as stumps, rocks, and dirt are also included in some state definitions. In most cases C&D debris is nonhazardous and is regulated by states and local governments rather than by EPA. An exception would be where C&D debris contains hazardous waste, such as removed asbestos insulation. For information on hazardous waste regulations, see: LGEAN Hazardous Waste section.

C&D debris is a significant issue in the U.S. because of the enormous volume of C&D debris generated. A large fraction of C&D debris ends up in municipal solid waste landfills or in special C&D landfills, which may have the potential to contaminate groundwater. Also, each year, there is less land available for waste disposal. As a result, many state and local governments are seeking ways to divert C&D debris from land disposal, including the promotion of recycling. Also, Green Building programs exist where the focus is on minimizing the generation of wastes.

State and local regulations may limit where C&D debris can dispose of. For example some local governments do not permit C&D debris to be disposed of in their municipal landfill. Also, some local governments, particularly in California, require construction companies to recycle a minimum percentage of the C&D debris generated.

U.S. EPA

EPA's Construction and Demolition Debris Website. Includes sections on managing and reducing C&D debris. Also, a topic-based list of C&D resources can be found at this site.

States

C&D Debris State Locator. Use this tool to locate regulatory information and other compliance assistance and P2 resources for your state. It is also recommended that you contact your city or county government to determine if local rules also apply to your project.

Organizations/Non-Government Programs

Peaks to Prairies Residential Construction Technical Assistance. Resource efficient building practices will allow residential construction professionals to meet consumer demand, increase profits, provide savings for the consumer and enhance marketing opportunities while using resources in a sustainable manner.

Publications

Construction Waste Management Database. One way that the federal government is promoting responsible waste management is through the U.S. General Services Administration's (GSA) online Construction Waste Management Database. The interactive database, installed online by Steven Winter Associates, Inc. (SWA), is a free service for those seeking information on companies that haul, collect, and process debris from construction projects.

Managing Your Environmental Responsibilities (MYER) - A Planning Guide for Construction and Development This document explains in detail the environmental obligations that construction companies can face across the various federal laws (stormwater, air, wetlands, waste...). Use it to factor in costs during the bidding process, assign responsibilities and use the checklists to self-audit.

Building Savings: Strategies for Waste Reduction of Construction and Demolition Debris from Buildings. The Waste Reduction Record-Setters Project fosters the development of exceptional waste reduction programs by documenting successful ones. These programs can be used as models by others implementing their own programs to reduce disposal. This fact sheet packet is aimed at local governments that want to encourage more building-related construction and demolition debris recovery, building owners and developers interested in green building design, and building contractors seeking a competitive edge.

Databases and Tools

Resource Efficient Residential Construction: Industry Web Directory. The Peaks to Prairies Residential Environment Web Site provides the following services: Technical Assistance and Referrals, Industry Contacts, Database of Resources and Publications, News, Events Calendar and Frequently Asked Questions.

EPA Resource Conservation-Construction and Demolition Materials: extensive list of resources like: success stories, documents, fact sheets, case studies, and international resources related to C&D materials management from the EPA.