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Construction and Demolition (C&D) Debris

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General Description

Construction and Demolition (C&D) debris consists of the waste generated during construction, renovation, and demolition projects. Covering a wide array of materials, this waste often contains bulky, heavy materials, including concrete, wood, asphalt (from roads and roofing shingles), gypsum (the main component of drywall), metals, bricks, plastics, and plant materials from site clearing. C&D debris also includes salvaged building components such as doors, windows, and plumbing fixtures.

See Facilities Infrastructure for detailed information on Asbestos and Landfills for disposal of Asbestos.

Summary of Federal Requirements

Materials comprising C & D debris can sometimes be contaminated by undesirable components and/or toxic compounds such as asbestos, lead-based paint (LBP), varnish, creosote and adhesives leading to the need for potentially have hazardous waste to dispose of from the site.

If possible, prior to demolishing a structure, you should remove these undesirable components since they could cause the debris to require handling as a special or hazardous waste.

For new construction, waste can be reduced during the purchasing stage by:

  • Improving the accuracy of estimating procedures to ensure that the correct amount of each material is brought to the site.
  • Negotiating with suppliers to buy back unused materials. Ask for their assistance to identify materials that contain the least amount of hazardous products. In addition, ask suppliers to deliver supplies on returnable pallets and containers. This will reduce MSW costs for the contractor.

For new construction, waste can be reduced onsite by:

  • Improving storing and handling procedures to reduce and prevent materials loss from weather and other damage.
  • Salvaging reusable items, such as windows and doors for remodeling projects. Check with local recycling organizations and/or use the Earth911.com "Search" function to identify locations for donating reusable items.
  • Segregating wood, wallboard and other biodegradable materials and send them to the composting facility onsite.

Summary of State Requirements

The disposal of C&D waste as a waste category is primarily a state regulated issue. For example Minnesota and New York, for example, have developed extensive listings of types of C & D debris prohibited from landfill disposal.

State-by-state guidance concerning construction and demolition debris can be found at CICA's C&D Debris State Resources Tool.

Laws and Statutes

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Subtitle D

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Regulatory Sources
State C&D Debris Guidance
State-by-State information on C&D debris.
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Last Updated: May 08, 2018