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RE: [greenyes] C&D Recycling Hits the Front Pages

Peter makes a very good point about the low-bid ungreen contractor.
Economics and path of least resistance are always at play in the world of
waste. And while C&D and industrial waste makes up roughly a third of all
wastes, it is a near certainty that we will not be able to capture their
(the generators) attention, educate them, and steer them toward making the
"right" decision.

One of the strategies to consider to divert this material is to not focus so
much on the specific generators, but instead focus on the places that these
types of materials end up. Changing the infrastructure and economics of the
situation leads to changes of behavior, whether or not the builders are the
goody two shoes. This stategy has been working very well for San Jose's
program, which is based on a recycling deposit and expanded infrastructure
through financial incentives (competition & grants).

Stephen M Bantillo
City of San José, Environmental Services Department
Integrated Waste Management
777 North First Street, Suite 300
San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 277-3846 Office and VMail
(408) 277-3669 Fax

-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Anderson [mailto:anderson@no.address]
Sent: Thursday, May 27, 2004 1:56 PM
To: GreenYes
Subject: [greenyes] C&D Recycling Hits the Front Pages

Very interesting for its source.

With regard to the paragraph:

"Still, some say that taking construction and demolition debris to the
dump remains, for the most part, the least expensive way to dispose of such
material. Recycling and reuse typically means "paying a premium," says James
Abadie, a senior vice president at Lend Lease Corp.'s Bovis
construction-management unit in New York. Because of that, he says, only
those developers and companies that are using so-called green building
techniques are interested in reusing demolition debris or recycling excess
construction material."

Here in Wisconsin where landfills are less than $20 a ton, a neighbor of
mine just had his old drive way removed for a garage by a low-bid ungreen
contractor. He took the rubble for recovery because it was manifestly
cheaper. And he was the opposite of the goody two shoes stuff that catches
the headlines. And, that's what makes it so neat.

C&D, remember is probably one third of our waste stream, counting
industrial special wastes along with MSW.



May 26, 2004

From Recycled Rubble Come
Roads, Parking Lots, Savings

May 26, 2004; Page B1

Everyone is familiar with recycling paper and plastic, but how about
concrete and bricks?
Faced with dwindling landfill space and high construction costs, more
cities, states and developers are joining a "rubble" recycling wave. When
feasible, they are incorporating the wreckage of demolished structures into
new building projects rather than carting away the old building's remnants.
And when they can't reuse the ruins, they are recycling them -- in some
cases, making money selling off the old copper, steel, concrete and other
material that's in high demand and short supply.

For the past four months in Richmond, Va., giant crusher machines have been
pulverizing large chunks of concrete from two laboratory facilities
demolished last year. Rather than truck 12,750 tons of broken concrete to a
local landfill, the state is using it to level the site's surface, where a
$19 million, 1,500-car parking structure will be built. The state is sending
the remaining debris -- some 1,250 tons of asphalt, steel and other
material -- to local recycling facilities.

Despite the extra time and effort to sort the material, Virginia officials
estimate the state is saving more than $485,000 by selling off the steel,
copper and other recyclable metals and reusing the concrete debris, which
eliminated the need to buy and transport new gravel to the site. The state's
effort also helps the environment by reducing the material dumped in
landfills and by saving fuel that would have been used to haul materials to
and from the site. And it's good for the state's image, as well. "Government
needs to lead the way by example," says Richard Sliwoski, director of
engineering and buildings at Virginia's general-services department.

The commonwealth of Virginia demolished two outdated laboratory facilities
in Richmond to make way for a new parking garage. All of the demolition
debris from the labs is being reused at the site or recycled.

Rubble recycling is getting a big shove from state and municipal governments
enacting laws aimed at reducing the amount of waste going to landfills,
specifically debris from construction and demolition projects, among the
biggest sources of solid waste. Massachusetts is moving toward banning
construction and demolition debris, including asphalt, brick, concrete,
metal and wood from its landfills. Florida legislators have been considering
taking action aimed at increasing the recycling of construction material and

Under a program begun nearly three years ago, the city of San Jose, Calif.,
requires contractors to put up a recycling deposit before they can get a
building permit for most commercial and residential projects. Contractors
must prove they have diverted at least half of the construction and
demolition debris from their building project from landfills to get their
deposit returned. San Jose officials have certified nearly a dozen disposal
facilities that have agreed to recycle at least 50% of the construction
material they receive.

Commercial demolition projects, where the steel and concrete can be easily
recycled, typically are charged a lower deposit than a residential
kitchen-remodeling project, where roofing, carpeting, appliances and other
materials are not as easily recycled. The deposits range from 10 cents to
$1.16 a square foot depending on the type of project.
"The purpose is to divert as much construction waste from burial as
possible," says Stephen Bantillo, who manages San Jose's program, which
helps the city surpass a state of California mandate requiring all cities
and counties to divert 50% of their waste from landfills. Mr. Bantillo says
San Jose diverted about 62% of its waste through recycling and reuse of
materials in 2002, the latest figure available.

To recycle rubble from two demolished buildings near Santa Clara (Calif.)
University, a 'crusher' grinds up concrete slabs.




New York-based Rockefeller Development Corp. is about to embark on a
demolition and construction project in Cranbury, N.J., in which three
outdated industrial buildings will be knocked down and replaced with a
685,000-square-foot distribution center. Glenn Muleucis, an assistant vice
president at Rockefeller Development, says that for the first time in his
nine years there the company plans to reuse the concrete slabs, brick and
other masonry on the site by crushing the material to stone for grading,
laying utilities and building roads and driveways. Mr. Muleucis estimates
the recycling will prevent at least 70% of the demolition debris from ending
up at the dump and may save as much as $300,000.

With older buildings that may contain asbestos, lead paint or other
contaminants, the reuse and recycling of material "is not cost-feasible,"
says Russ Hubbard, director of business development at Ferma Corp., the
Mountain View, Calif., demolition company Santa Clara University hired. But
Mr. Hubbard estimates that the reuse and recycling of materials from a
demolition site, even when factoring the sorting involved, costs at least 5%
less than hauling and dumping the material and buying new gravel.

Still, some say that taking construction and demolition debris to the dump
remains, for the most part, the least expensive way to dispose of such
material. Recycling and reuse typically means "paying a premium," says James
Abadie, a senior vice president at Lend Lease Corp.'s Bovis
construction-management unit in New York. Because of that, he says, only
those developers and companies that are using so-called green building
techniques are interested in reusing demolition debris or recycling excess
construction material.

All the excess construction material and debris generated at the downtown
Manhattan site where Related Cos. is developing a 24-story, 264-unit
environmentally friendly apartment building will be recycled -- except for
food waste generated by construction workers, says Mr. Abadie, whose company
is managing the project.

(Bovis also was in charge of the cleanup at Ground Zero; Mr. Abadie says
that steel from the World Trade Center's columns was sold off as scrap metal
to recyclers, with the rest of the debris going to a landfill on Staten
Island. "There was very little left" beyond the steel and dust, Mr. Abadie

Battery Park City Authority, a public-benefit corporation created by the New
York state legislature to develop a 92-acre landfill in downtown Manhattan,
owns the Manhattan site being developed by Related and is requiring the
developer to use the authority's green building guidelines. Those guidelines
include such things as recycling at least 75% of the construction waste
generated at the project, using construction materials with recycled content
and those that were manufactured within 500 miles of the site.

"A typical private developer in New York City wants the lowest price and
couldn't care less if the debris ends up in someone's backyard," says Mr.
Abadie. But when Bovis deals with that typical developer, some of the debris
may end up being diverted from the dump. Mr. Abadie says his company has a
policy of using, whenever possible, companies that make some effort to
recycle at least some debris.

Write to Sheila Muto at sheila.muto@no.address
URL for this article:,,SB108552832498421366,00.html

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