Construction and Demolition materials (C & D) make up an estimated 36% of the “waste” Boulder County discards each year. Many of these items can be recycled, including ceiling tiles, corrugated cardboard, metals, mercury devices (thermostats), roofing shingles, wood, and aggregates such as asphalt, brick and concrete. Many remodeling and demolition products can be reused, including cabinets, doors, fixtures, flooring, clean lumber, windows, and wood sheathing.
Many local resources are available to help with reuse and recycling of construction and demolition materials.
Zero Waste Action Plan
Three steps for increasing reuse and recycling of C & D materials:
- Support capacity for construction and demolition transfer, sorting and possible processing
- Require construction and demolition project recycling and reuse
- Clean, damaged dimensional lumber should be included in slash management programs
Studies & Reports
Boulder County has identified reuse and recycling opportunities for many C & D materials and encourages contractors to use existing private businesses for effective reuse and recycling.
Boulder County “BuildSmart” building code for unincorporated areas requires new construction projects to recycle cardboard, concrete, scrap metal and clean wood. Any deconstruction must include the salvage of all reusable cabinets, doors, windows, flooring, and fixtures and the reuse or recycling of clean lumber and wood sheathing.
City of Boulder Green Building and Green Points program requires applicants for new construction permits to demonstrate that a minimum of 50% of construction scraps are recycled. Deconstruction permits require at least 65% of material, by weight, be diverted from disposal.
Town of Superior “Green Building Program” also promotes waste reduction efforts.
Next steps for C&D diversion are being developed by the Boulder County Resource Conservation Advisory Board (RCAB). Better enforcement of building codes and better measures of current program use are the likely next steps to eliminating construction and demolition waste in Boulder County.