The following post is from Elder Demolition:
About 40 percent of the solid waste produced in the U.S. comes from construction and demolition debris. In 1996, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported that the debris generated from construction and demolition projects totaled 136 million tons. Since then, this figure has increased by 25 percent. Building demolitions are responsible for about 48 percent of this waste, while renovations contribute about 44 percent. Since steel is one of the most popular materials used in construction, green scrap metal demolition is getting a second look.
Builders are diverting metals harvested during demolitions from landfills for reuse in new projects. Instead of tearing down a building as fast as possible, builders deconstruct them in order to salvage parts they can reuse, recycle or sell. Scrap metal recycling isn’t a new concept in the metal industry. Here’s why:
It reduces demand. Steel and other metals have valuable minerals in them, such as nickel and chromium. By choosing to recycle scrap metal waste, you can help reduce the demand for raw materials and the energy required to refine them.
It saves money. Often you can reuse the metal salvaged during a green demolition, thus reducing disposal fees. If there’s metal that you can’t repurpose, there’s the option of selling it or making a tax-deductible contribution to a non-profit building supply company.
You can earn green points. A green demolition may qualify your project for LEED points or a related certification. Builders can also earn points by planning new construction with a future green deconstruction in mind.
Salvaging scrap metal is a time- and work-intensive process. When dismantling an aluminum plant, for example, our company harvested 35,000 tons of structural steel. This involved using steel shears to cut the larger scraps into smaller pieces for transporting. Then the smaller pieces must be gathered and separated from the rest of the construction debris — in many cases, this requires a crew to comb through the site and separate the materials by hand, which is dangerous as well as time-consuming. We’ve found the use of magnets to be the safest and most efficient way to extract scrap metal from a site.
One rookie error demolition companies commonly make is not properly sorting the different types of metal. It’s usually fairly obvious that any copper, aluminum or other precious metals should be separated. However, once these materials have been removed, many crews will simply gather the remaining metals into one load. That means heavy structural steel often gets mixed together with ductwork, metal wall studs, light fixtures and other less valuable metals. At the scrap yard, just a few pieces of these undesirable materials can diminish the value of the heavy steel as much as 20 percent — that’s $25-50 per ton. When you’re hauling 10-12 tons of scrap metal for resale, this can be a costly mistake.
For more information about scrap metal demolition, and site management, stormwater management and eco-friendly opportunities in the area, the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center and the EPA provide a list of green building resources and certification programs available in Oregon and Washington.
Portland-based Elder Demolition has experience with scrap metal demolition, scrap metal recycling and LEED-certified green demolitions.
- Business and technology
- Code issues
- Famous speakers
- Globe Conference
- Green events in the Seattle area
- Green materials
- Green roofs
- Greenhouse gasses
- Hazardous sites
- Integrative design
- King County
- laws and regulations
- Living Building
- Living Future
- Measuring performance
- Paul Hawken
- Puget Sound
- Regional Issues
- Seattle Department of Planning and Development
- Seattle firms
- Social Justice
- Suburban cities
- Urban planning
- Washington State Department of Ecology
- Zero emissions
DJC Green Building Blog
Welcome to the Daily Journal of Commerce Green Building Blog. Our focus is on green building issues in Seattle, the Pacific Northwest and anywhere that might interest you. If you have any comments or questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Opinions expressed by bloggers are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce.
PollsSorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
- How are millennials changing cities?
- The contractor’s role in LEED can make a big difference
- Do rain gardens work at industrial sites?
- Frank Ching illustrates new green building guide
- New life for old wood at Stone34
- hcg weight loss san diego on Ah, the story of stuff
- best fake tans uk on And you thought the Prius looked weird… Cars of the future at Globe2008
- marine refrigerator amps draw on Is it time for Seattle to embrace graffiti?
- Coral on Take a free green home tour on Saturday
- weight loss with hcg diet on Change of location for electric event tomorrow
- Earth Advantage Blog
- New Buildings Institute Blog
- Washington State University Extension Energy Program
- Best Green Blogs
- Building Capacity Blog
- Building Seattle Green Blog
- City Tank
- Climate Solutions
- Earth Advantage Blog
- GreenFab News and Media
- Jetson Green
- Landscape and Urbanism
- New Buildings Institute Blog
- Portland Architecture
- The Greenworkplace
Green Building organizations
- Built Green
- Cascadia Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council
- City of Seattle Green Building
- City of Seattle Green Building Program
- Environmental Services Directory for Washington State
- Green Infrastructure Wiki
- King County GreenTools
- Lifecycle Building Challenge
- Puget Sound Clean Air Agency Resources
- Puget Sound Partnership
- Seattle Great City Initiative
- Whole Building Design Guide
Green events in the Seattle area
- AIA Seattle
- Cascadia Green Building Council Events Calendar
- Master Builders of King and Shohomish County Built Green Events Calendar and News
- Seattle Department of Planning and Development Events