We have to discard the past and, as one builds
oor by oor, window by window,
and the building rises, so do we go throwing down
rst, broken tiles, then pompous doors,
until out of the past dust rises as if to crash against the oor,
smoke rises as if to catch re
and each new day it gleams like an empty plate
Pablo Neruda (1904–1973)
Construction and demolition (C&D) debris is generated when new structures are built and existing
structures are renovated or demolished (Figure21.1). Structures include residential andnonresi-
dential buildings, and public works projects such as streets, highways, bridges, and piers.
Components of C&D debris include concrete, asphalt, wood, metals, gypsum wallboard, and
roong. State denitions of C&D debris may be expanded to include trees, stumps, soil, and rock
from clearing construction sites.
21.2 CHARACTERISTICS OF C&D DEBRIS
Sources of C&D debris include homebuilders, homeowners, commercial developers, building
contractors, highway and street contractors, bridge constructors, bituminous pavement contractors,
home remodelers, demolition contractors, roong contractors, drywallers, and excavating companies
(Franklin Associates 1998). The major activities that generate C&D debris from buildings include
the construction, demolition, and renovation of residential and nonresidential buildings (Figure21.2).
Residential buildings include single-family houses, duplexes, and high-rise multifamily housing.
Nonresidential buildings include commercial, institutional, and industrial buildings. Approximately
170 million tons of building-related C&D debris were generated in the United States in 2003
(Table21.1). Thirty-nine percent was generated from residential sources and 61% from nonresidential
sources. Building demolitions account for 49% of the total C&D waste stream, renovations account
for 42%, and construction activities generated the remaining 9% (U.S.EPA 2004).
Construction activities generally produce cleaner materials than do demolition. Demolition
generates wastes with several materials bound together or contaminated with hazardous materials
such as asbestos or lead-based paint. Renovation projects generate both C&D type wastes.
Thesources of C&D debris are listed in Table21.2.
The composition of C&D debris is highly variable and is a function of the specic activities
taking place at the site. For example, concrete is the largest component of building demolition
debris, and wood is the largest waste component generated at construction and renovation sites.
Typical components of C&D debris are listed in Table21.3.
578 Waste Management Practices: Municipal, Hazardous, and Industrial
FIGURE 21.1 C&D debris results from construction, demolition, and renovation of residential and
FIGURE21.2 Generation of C&D debris from buildings. (Reproduced with kind permission from Franklin
Associates, Characterization of Building-Related Construction and Demolition Debris in the United States,
EPA530-R-98-010, Prairie Village, KS, 1998.)
579Construction and Demolition Debris
Typical Components of C&D Debris
Wood Forming and framing lumber, stumps, plywood, laminates, scraps
Drywall Sheetrock, gypsum, plaster
Metals Pipes, rebar, ashing, steel, aluminum, copper, brass, stainless steel
Plastics Vinyl siding, doors, windows, oor tile, pipes
Roong Asphalt and wood shingles, slate, tile, roong felt
Rubble Asphalt, concrete, cinder blocks, rock, soil
Brick Bricks and decorative blocks
Glass Windows, mirrors, lights
Miscellaneous Carpeting, xtures, insulation, ceramic tile
Summary of Estimated Building-Related C&D Debris Generation in 2003
Residential Nonresidential Total
Million Tons Percent Million Tons Percent Million Tons Percent
Construction 10 15 5 5 15 9
Renovation 38 57 33 32 71 42
Demolition 19 28 65 63 84 49
Total 67 100 103 100 170 100
Percent 39 61 100
Source: U.S. EPA, Estimating 2003 Building-Related Construction and Demolition Materials
Amounts, 2004, Available from: http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/imr/cdm/pubs/cd-meas.pdf
Representative Sources of C&D Wastes
Site clearance materials Brush, tree, and stumpage materials
Excavated materials Earth, ll, and other excavated rock and granular materials
Roadwork materials Concrete slabs and chunks from concrete road construction
Asphalt chunks and millings from asphalt pavement
Bridge, overpass construction, and renovation materials
New construction materials Residential, commercial, and industrial project sources
Renovation, remodeling, or repair materials Residential, commercial, and industrial project sources
Demolition materials including wrecking, implosion,
dismantling, and deconstruction
Residential, commercial, and industrial project sources
Disaster debris Any/all of the above.
Source: Reproduced with kind permission from Franklin Associates, Characterization of Building-Related Construction
and Demolition Debris in the United States, EPA530-R-98-010, U.S. EPA, Prairie Village, KS, 1998.