The recycling process is not complete until collected materials are used to manufacture products and those recycled products are sold. Consumer demand for recycled-content productsincluding recycled building productsdrives recycling and makes it economically viable for the governments and businesses involved in collection.
Many recycled-content building products are already on the market today. Numerous types of insulation contain recycled materials, ranging from shredded newspaper (cellulose insulation) to blast furnace slag (mineral wool insulation). Some carpet and carpet padding contains recycled plastic. Many brands of drywall contain recycled paper, while a smaller number use gypsum by-products from the coal burning process.
For information on recycled-content construction products appropriate for government or commercial buildings, visit EPA's Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines website.
Buy Recycled Building Products
EPAs Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program provides additional resources for the purchase of building products that are recycled and possess other environmentally favorable characteristics.
The National Recycling Coalitions Beverage Packing Environmental Council (BPEC) is bringing together the leading alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage companies to address recycling issues.
Building Materials Reuse Association (BMRA) is a nonprofit, membership based organization that represents companiesand organizations that acquire and sell used building materials such as windows, doors, and plumbing fixtures. The BMRA also represents companies that reprocess and recycle building materials such as concrete and asphalt.
Materials and Waste Exchanges are markets for buying and selling reusable and recyclable commodities. Some are physical warehouses that advertise available commodities through printed catalogs, while others are simply websites that connect buyers and sellers. Some are coordinated by state and local governments. Others are wholly private, for-profit businesses. The exchanges also vary in terms of area of service and the types of commodities exchanged. In general, waste exchanges tend to handle hazardous materials and industrial process waste while materials exchanges handle nonhazardous items.
Alphabetical Information & Material Exchange Index offered by Recyclers World provides an alphabetical listing of materials exchanges.
The Recycled Materials Resource Center (RMRC) is a national center created to promote the wise use of recycled materials (e.g., pavements, secondary, waste, byproduct materials) in the highway environment.
Construction and Demolition Recycling Website serves as the portal to the C&D materials recycling industry.
GreenGoat is a non-profit that works with architects, general contractors, demolition companies, and waste removal contractors to facilitate the flow of used building materials back into other structures and even other industries.