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Facts and Figures about Materials, Waste and Recycling

Construction and Demolition Debris: Material-Specific Data

Construction and Demolition (C&D) debris is a type of waste that is not included in municipal solid waste (MSW). Materials included in the C&D debris generation estimates are steel, wood products, drywall and plaster, brick and clay tile, asphalt shingles, concrete, and asphalt concrete. These materials are used in buildings, roads and bridges, and other sectors.

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Overview

EPA measures the generation of C&D debris in the United States. The generation estimate represents C&D amounts from construction, renovation and demolition activities for buildings, roads and bridges.

This is a picture of a partially demolished building. There also is debris on the ground in front of the part of the building that is demolished, and a yellow crane is picking up some debris.EPA estimated that 600 million tons of C&D debris were generated in the United States in 2018, which is more than twice the amount of generated MSW. For more information on methodology, see Construction and Demolition Debris Generation in the United States, 2015.

EPA also produced estimates for the 2018 mass quantities of C&D debris material intended for next use or sent to landfills. “Next use” designates an intended next-use market which, depending on the material, may include fuel, manufactured products, aggregate, compost and mulch or soil amendment. The manufactured products next use encompasses estimates of C&D debris processed (e.g. ground, crushed or extracted and melted) for incorporation in the manufacture of new materials and products. For example, C&D asphalt is processed for use in the production of asphalt mixtures. For more information on the 2018 data see Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: 2018 Fact Sheet. For more information on the methodology-see Construction and Demolition Debris Management in the United States, 2015.

Looking for more information on C&D debris? Check out these web pages:

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Summary Table and Graph

The data below are from 1960 to 2018, relating to the total number of tons of construction and demolition debris generated. End destinations for construction and demolition debris have been added for 2015 and 2018.

1960-2018 Data on Construction and Demolition Debris by Weight (in thousands of U.S. tons)
Management Pathway 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2005 2010 2015 2017 2018
Generation - - - 135,530 - 170,000 - 547,040 569,360 600,330
Manufactured Products - - - - - - - 108,560 - 131,590
Aggregate - - - - - - - 293,670 - 313,070
Soil Amendment - - - - - - - 2,000 - 1,890
Compost and Mulch - - - - - - - 2,610 - 2,460
Fuel - - - - - - - 8,010 - 7,540
Landfill - - - - - - - 132,190 - 143,780

Sources:

EPA, 1998. Characterization of Building-Related Construction and Demolition Debris in the United States that estimates the generation of building-related C&D materials in the U.S. in 1996.

EPA, 2009. Estimating 2003 Building-Related Construction and Demolition Materials Amounts that estimates the generation of building-related C&D materials in the United States.

EPA, 2018. Construction and Demolition Debris Generation in the United States, 2015.

EPA, 2019. Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: 2017 Fact Sheet.

EPA 2020a. Construction and Demolition Debris Management in the United States, 2015.

EPA, 2020b. Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: 2018 Fact Sheet.

A dash in the table means that data is not available.

A graph is not provided because sufficient data is not available in the table.

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