It is estimated that the United States generates 600 million tonnes of building and demolition debris each year, as per the Environmental Protection Agency. Over 7.5 million tonnes of building and demolition trash were dumped in landfills in Texas in 2019, occupying valuable landfill space with materials that could have been recovered or utilised instead.
The City of Austin requires that construction and demolition waste be recycled after completion. Here are five environmental and economic benefits of recycling and reusing construction materials that can be realised on a local level.
It Helps To Conserve Landfill Space
According the Texas Centre for Environmental Quality (TCEQ), building and demolition waste accounted for more than 21 percent of all waste disposed of in Texas landfills in 2019. After municipal waste, it is the second most significant source of waste in Texas.
Waste reduction and reuse of construction materials have the potential to increase the lifespan for regional landfills while also lowering the overall cost of maintaining current landfills and constructing new ones to the community in the long run.
It Leads To The Creation Of Jobs And The Stimulation Of The Economy
In 2018, the economic effect of a recycling and reuse business in Austin resulted in the creation of nearly 6,300 jobs and the generation of $1.1 billion in total activity. Providing construction & demolition materials for donation or recycling can assist contractors contribute to the creation of new employment opportunities. The time spent recycling and repurposing building materials contributes to the creation of a more sustainable economy where these resources can be employed rather than discarded of or burned.
It is possible for building owners to choose to dismantle a structure rather than demolish it. The materials are salvaged by contractors and re-circulated back to the marketplace.
Owners of commercial buildings who give materials to designated organisations are eligible for tax breaks. These deductions may be sufficient to cover the additional costs associated with the deconstruction process. It is normal of the after value of donated building supplies is approximately 35 percent of the entire appraised value. The type & condition of the structure, as well as the materials used, are all factors that influence tax benefits.
When seeking a tax deduction, there are various considerations to keep in mind. The donated products must be required by the organisation. The building owner must also be aware of the fair market worth of the materials used in the construction. If an item or number of similar goods from the donated property is valued at more than $5,000, an appraisal will be required for that item or set of items.
It Helps To Protect Natural Resources
Conserving natural resources through the reuse and recycling of construction materials is important.
Approximately 1 million tonnes of recycled concrete are used by the Texas Department of Transportation each year. Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) lowers the demand for natural stone harvesting and landfill waste by reusing these resources for road building.
It Helps To Reduce Hazardous Emissions
In landfills which contain construction debris, hydrogen sulphide gas can be an issue. Bacterial reactions with gypsum contained in drywall result in the formation of this gas. Recycling drywall can help to lessen health hazards as well as the disagreeable odours that natural gas emits.
It is estimated that they cut carbon dioxide emissions with 46,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per year by using recycled concrete. Over the course of one year, this is the equivalent of driving 31,542 passenger vehicles.