Dispose or Reuse: What Happens to Waste Materials After Demolition?

Environmentall - Demolition Structural Services

Demolition is a huge part of the construction industry in Canada. But it’s also one of the most wasteful aspects of it. Though few construction materials can be salvaged and repurposed after demolition, a handful still goes from construction sites to landfills.

A study about demolition waste management in Canada found that the waste from construction and demolition industries contributes to 27% of the total municipal solid waste in landfills. Meanwhile, it also found that about 75% of the solid waste has value, meaning it can still be reused.

Now that we know the statistics, how exactly does all this waste get managed? Let’s talk about the various disposal and reuse methods for specific materials.

Demolition debris is usually managed in one of two ways: recycling or landfilling.

Recycling
Concrete recycling is one of the most common methods for dealing with demolition waste. This process involves crushing concrete after removal and other materials into gravel-sized pieces, which can then be used for construction projects or sold for a reuse. 

Landfilling
Finally, concrete debris can also be buried in landfills. This is typically the least environmentally friendly option, as it contributes to air and water pollution. However, concrete debris is generally inert, making it less likely to leak harmful chemicals into the environment than other materials.

Materials You Can Salvage and Reuse After Demolition

Recycling demolition waste is an essential part of minimizing environmental impacts and conserving resources. It can also save you significant money on construction projects, as concrete and metal are valuable building materials. Some common materials that can be salvaged and reused include:

Concrete
After concrete removal, this material can be crushed and repurposed as concrete aggregate for use in new construction projects. It can also be sold, depending on the quality of the concrete. That’s because concrete is also known to have a long-life span, which makes it ideal for recycling.

Metal
May it be a beam or steel, as long as it is not bent completely, this can still be used in another construction project or a house renovation project. Metals can be melted down and formed into a new form, making them an ideal upcycling material.

Wood
This is on a case-to-case basis. If the wood is too old or is already brittle, it should be disposed of properly, so it won’t fill up the landfill. It can be shredded and used in organic applications. However, if it still looks good as new, you can use them for home construction and/or renovation projects.

Brick
Broken brick that can be reused or crushed into a material that is used for back fill. Bricks that are not yet too broken can be upcycled and can perhaps be used in driveways, pathways, or a decoration for an outdoor space.

How To Dispose of Demolition Materials Properly
Demolition companies in Kington and area can pair up with a recycling facility so the solid waste can be managed and disposed of properly.

At Environmentall Contracting Services Inc. (ECSI) we can take the concrete, metal, wood, and brick waste materials to our recycling center so they can be reused or recycled. This is an effective way of disposing of demolition material while still considering the environment. This does cost more money then simply disposing the waste as the cost of labor and double handling materials are higher than the disposal rate. However, at ECSI we have a mission that the benefits of redirecting waste from the landfill outweigh the small premium to get it done.

Remember that it is such a great help if you’ll be recycling and reusing materials until they are no longer usable—this is what makes a material sustainable.

Recycling is Key
Proper disposal of demolished house materials is a great start in reducing landfill waste—and demolition companies in Ontario are doing their part to help out with this kind of endeavor. ECSI is a demolition company that takes proper care of its demolished residuals.

If you require more information about our demolition services, do not hesitate to contact us and seek more advice on how to properly dispose of your construction and demolition waste responsibly.