- A rising number of contractors are recycling or reusing construction materials through green deconstruction, easing landfill burden and capitalizing on resources. About 90% of construction materials, including wiring, metal, concrete, wood, and windows can be salvaged for landscaping materials and reuse in other projects. While dry wall is not currently recyclable, Arizona general contractor Dough Minnear says he hopes his county can soon develop a recycling plan for the sheet rock.
- On a statewide level, California and Massachusetts mandate the reuse of building materials. Austin, TX announced in November that construction projects larger than 5,000 square feet are required to recycle half of their scraps. Some other states like Arizona have businesses that are taking the initiative to repurpose building materials.
- Some Arizona businesses that capitalize on leftovers in the $3 billion a year green deconstruction industry include the old Flagstaff lumber mill whose owners craft benches from old beams and incorporate roofing material into the interior design. Additionally, the region’s Grand Canyon Trust made a new barn using materials from an old one.
Keeping building materials out of the landfill is essential to green deconstruction, yet many small towns face economic challenges that throw up barriers to salvage and process construction waste — therefore, it gets landfilled.
In a Sept. 2015 study published by researchers at Yale University, a sampling showed that 12.8% of material in landfills is construction and demolition debris. As for this type of waste, its CAGR is increasing along with many other sector sin the waste management market. The Construction Waste Management Market 2015-2019 global report stated that the global market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9.67% by revenue from 2014-2019.
However, Amanda Acheson of Coconino County, AZ’s sustainable building program says, "There's great resources for metal recycling. We have great resources for concrete recycling, but in general there’s limited resources here in Northern Arizona. And so it’s finding a source that can take it out of Phoenix or elsewhere, but then there’s a cost associated with it."