What You Can Do
If you are planning a construction or remodeling project, there are a number of things you can do before you start:
- Contact your local builders association, your county solid waste department, or your state environmental agency. They will provide information on recyclers and waste haulers in your area.
- Consider whether deconstruction techniques can be used to prepare your site for renovation or construction. In some communities, deconstruction auctions are being effectively used to move building materials into the reuse market.
- Check with local salvagers before purchasing new products. You might be surprised to find that many of them offer cabinets, doors, windows, and flooring that are in good condition for greatly reduced prices.
- Browse the ReUse People website. Reuse People, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to reducing the solid waste stream entering our landfills by diverting and salvaging usable building materials and providing them to individuals, businesses and families, including low-income families in Mexico.
You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPAs PDF page to learn more.
- Consult the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's publication, Unified Facilities Criteria, #UFC-1-1900-01 (December 2002), Selection of Methods for the Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling of Demolition Waste (PDF) (102 pp, 1MB) . This document can assist users in determining the most feasible methods for reducing C&D debris being disposed of in landfills.
- Donate the C&D materials that you are not planning to use to a local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity .
- Find useful advice from the C&D Waste Reduction and Recycling series fact sheets produced by EPA Region 9:
- Calculating Effectiveness: The Waste Management Plan (PDF) (2 pp, 228K)
- Reducing Waste for Building Owners (PDF) (2 pp, 129K)
- Setting up a Jobsite Recycling Program (PDF) (2 pp, 210K)
- Source Reduction in Residential Remodeling: The Las Alturas Adobe (PDF) (2 pp, 86K)
- Consult the Field Guide for Residential Remodelers. This field guide prepared by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Research Center provides remodelers with information on cost-effective and voluntary construction waste management. The Remodelers Field Guide addresses the unique aspects of remodeling, including differences in waste generation and site and work characteristics.
- To reduce lead hazards check EPA resources on Evaluating and Eliminating Lead-Based Paint Hazards: Lead Abatement, Inspection, and Risk Assessment .