Construction and demolition (C&D) recycling is a $7.4 billion industry, Recycling Today reports. 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.
While the majority of C&D material is recycled for economic reasons, keeping C&D materials out of landfills also helps to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The energy savings is equivalent to more than 85 million barrels of oil.
This data was compiled by researchers at the Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences, Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure and Environment, at the University of Florida for the white paper, Benefits of C&D Recycling. The white paper was commissioned by the Construction & Demolition Recycling Association. The researchers used estimated C&D generation statistics from 2012 for the analysis.
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