Using the Circular Economy to Manage Demolition Waste

A building has been demolished, leaving a pile of concrete, wood, and roof shingles.Since demolition projects generate a substantial amount of waste, they can pose challenges to the environment. However, principles taken from the circular economy can help transform the way waste is managed at demolition sites. 

A circular economy entails eliminating landfill waste by recycling, reusing, refurbishing, and maintaining goods and resources, maximizing their utility across various applications to extend their lifespan.

By minimizing waste generation and maximizing resource recovery, the circular economy allows us to reduce environmental impact, conserve valuable resources, and create economic opportunities. 

How to Reclaim Commercial Demolition Waste in Portland

While materials from demolished buildings were once considered to be 100% waste, new practices are changing the ways the construction industry does business. Instead of sending waste to landfills, the circular economy offers an alternative approach by redefining demolition waste as a valuable resource for reuse, recycling, and upcycling.

Demolition companies with forward-looking practices like scrap metal recovery can help you recoup money from materials previously thought to be waste. Usable demolition debris in the circular economy includes concrete, wood, metals, glass, and more. Not only are such practices better for the environment, but they can help offset expensive demolition costs. 

Scrap metal recovery can help you recoup money from materials previously thought to be waste.

Materials Salvaging   

Materials salvaging is an important practice in the circular economy. Using innovative methods, asset recovery companies conduct careful assessments and deconstruction planning to identify valuable materials that can be salvaged. To illustrate, many companies look at doors, windows, fixtures, and fittings to see if they can be repurposed. Moreover, salvaged materials can be utilized in new construction projects, reducing resource consumption and minimizing waste generation.

Recovery & Recycling 

Recovery and recycling are applied to materials that cannot be directly repurposed. For example, concrete can be crushed and used as aggregate for new concrete production, while metals are regularly melted down and transformed into new products. It’s for practices such as these that the demolition industry is a major contributor to an ever-growing U.S. recycling economy. 

Upcycling involves transforming materials into products of higher value or quality.

Upcycling Materials  

The circular economy encourages upcycling. This innovative practice involves transforming materials into products of higher value or quality. With upcycling, designers, artists, and architects find creative ways to repurpose materials from demolition sites. For instance, reclaimed wood can be transformed into high-end furniture or decorative elements. Not only does upcycling reduce the amount of construction materials in landfills, but it also creates new jobs for those who contribute to this process. 

Collaboration & Policy Support 

For the circular economy to reach its full potential in the construction and demolition industries, there needs to be a collaboration between government entities and private companies. For example, government bodies can incentivize green initiatives through policies such as tax benefits for companies that prioritize waste reduction and resource recovery. 

Elder Demolition: Your Portland Demolition Contractor   

At Elder Demolition, we are dedicated to employing practices that help address environmental challenges. By prioritizing reuse, recycling, and upcycling, we can help minimize waste generation, conserve resources, and reduce the strain on landfills. 

Contact us about your commercial demolition project in Portland to learn how our asset recovery services can help offset your project costs—and help the environment.

This entry was posted in Commercial Demolition, Demolition Tips. Bookmark the permalink.