15 Aug Materials that can be reused from a demolition project
Demolition projects yield A LOT of waste. But thanks to improvements in recycling, and repurposing, more of that waste than ever is being reused in the construction sector, which is highly beneficial for the environment.
As a responsible demolition company, our role in this process is the collection of what would be constituted waste in its raw format. To make transportation more efficient, it is common practice to use on-site crushing. This reduces cinder blocks and slabs to rubble, so more of it can be transported away at once.
Concrete, bricks, blocks, and stone are materials prime for this process. The rubble that crushing yields is sent onto specialist recycling plants, who reduce the material further so it can be reused as a bonding or construction material.
But it isn’t just concrete, brick, blocks and stone that can be repurposed. The following materials can also be reused after demolition:
This is turned into a powder or pellets and reused as a raw material in manufacturing.
This can be recycled, reused, or burned for bioenergy.
This can be recycled, reused, and pumped straight back into construction.
Copper, steel, aluminium, Inconel – practically any metal can be recycled and reused.
Aggregates are an important secondary material for foundations, roads and railroads.
Uncontaminated plasterboard can be composted and broken down for reuse in drywall.
Plastics can be recycled and repurposed into packaging, textiles, clothing and more.
Depending on the material in question, it is sent to a specialist recycling or repurposing plant. For example, a plant might take glass and melt it down onsite to make new windows or ornaments. A metal plant might crush the metal down into blocks, so it can be sold to an automotive manufacturer (who will melt it down).
The refinement process depends on the material. But the bottom line is all the materials above can be reused after demolition.
The challenge is making reuse economically viable. For you see, it is sometimes more economical to use new materials than it is to repurpose old ones.
However, companies with an important role to play in how their industry treats the environment will often take on the process of repurposing, even if it costs them a bit more (and so long as it is, mathematically, economically viable).
The role of a demolition company like Jennings in this process is to categorise, collect, and sort the reusable materials and transport them.
Once the material is delivered, our role in the process ends. It’s then down to the responsible receiver to make good use of the materials. Around 90% of all delivered materials can be recycled and reused. The rest are either burned, or sent to landfill, which is an unfortunate by-product of the construction sector.
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