Construction Recycling

I remember being an 8 year old roaming around a large construction site that my family was managing. The most interesting place for me on a daily basis was the dump pile. This pile of debris was earmarked for land fill. However, I would spend hours and hours salvaging useful materials for my tree-house or any other project I could think up. It was years later as I walked across another large residential construction site that I spied a dumpster overflowing with construction debris that I was infuriated by the waste of these useful materials. When I approached the site manager he explained to me that although he was an environmentalist it cost more to have someone sort the materials than just dump them. I didn't know what triple bottom line meant then but it didn't feel right, nor did it make sense. I have known for a long time that not everything is about dollars and cents, but the proof is hard to show financially oriented people. Companies producing a waste stream need to be aware of the affect their waste has on the entire ecosystem. By recycling, deconstructing and reusing where possible not only are you doing the right thing environmentally and socially, but eventually savings start to arise.  As an example, I was recently leaving my workshop when I realized I needed about 40 ft of 2x4 and a few other materials to finish a job I was heading to. I could have driven to the lumber yard and then driven to the job, costing time and gas. However, I have several bins of recycled materials that I could draw from, I estimate that just then I saved about $80 in time, gas and materials. That kind of savings starts to add up and prove that recycling can be environmentally, socially and financially rewarding.
This entry was posted in Best practice, Contractor Tips.

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