Grand County Real Estate: Local builders discuss construction recycling
April 1, 2008
An estimated 35 percent of all waste going into Colorado landfills consist of demolition and construction materials ” 80 percent of which is recyclable.
As discussions continues in Grand County about dwindling landfill space and a dire need for recycling, the Grand County Builders Association stepped up to see what options there are for recycling construction materials.
The amount of construction waste in Grand County’s landfills has been estimated as high as 50 percent, but the GCBA is seeing what it can do to trim that figure. During its recent regular meeting, the local group, which is composed of more than 110 craftsmen and women of all trades, hosted an educational presentation on job site recycling. Around 60 members were able to attend.
Local recycling advocate Liz McIntyre introduced Jason Hawk, construction recycling manager at Waste-Not Recycling, a company based in Loveland, which is committed to environmental stewardship and offers “top-to-bottom” recycling collection services.
Waste-Not has grown from a volunteer-based, small-town curbside recycling
programs to providing comprehensive recycling service to hundreds of businesses, schools and public entities in the state. The company is currently the only full-service construction waste recycling company in Colorado, with more than 120 successful projects within the past eight years and more than 15 million pounds of construction waste diverted from landfills since 2000.
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The company’s goals include making “every effort to recycle as much as possible,” to continue to learn about recycling opportunities and “to seek regional markets for the commodities we collect.” Its mission: To assist in creating a sustainable environment for present and future generations by providing quality recycling services. With a specialized focus on working with businesses, Waste-Not provides some of the most comprehensive recycling and reuse services to commercial, institutional and government accounts.
With years of experience, corporate clients, and a combination of building knowledge and consistent training the company has built up a reliable program and the benefits certainly outweigh the cost (which ends up usually being less than what it would cost for the trash removal). The company is able to recycle wood and pallets, cardboard, scrap metal, concrete, shrink wrap, brick, stones, ceramic tiles, slate, large pieces of insulation, and a large variety office supplies like paper. It is also hoping to expand into carpet and carpet padding and asphalt shingles soon and is in the process of becoming a regional partner in the Energy Star program. Leasing of balers and compactors is also available.
The company also provides consulting services to help set up construction waste recycling programs, waste analysis and reduction, environmental business audits, and energy efficiency. Hawk’s presentation, which also came before the local towns and the Board of County Commissioners, was about building waste management strategies.
Hawk estimated that an average 2,500-square-foot home project puts out about 35 cubic yards of wood waste alone (8 to 10 cubic yards of drywall and much more).
“For every little anchor bolt, there’s always a way to (recycle),” he said.
To help cut down on the maintenance and cost, Waste-Not is able to bring in multiple separate roll-off containers, with bilingual signs, to help sort the materials.
“Recycling saves energy, natural resources, creates jobs, prevents pollution, and is part of smart growth,” Hawk said.
It is not surprising for many to know that recycling creates new products for use. For example, people in the United States throw away more than 300 million tires annually but about 80 percent of that can be recycled into road surfaces, building materials, even a recent rubber mulch that has been discovered for gardening and landscaping. It is also said that without recycling America’s timber harvest would need to increase by about 80 percent to meet the U.S. fiber demand. Recycling also reduces the impact of mining and manufacturing.
Not only is it important to find a well-rounded, reliable service like Waste-Not Recycling, but one that is “affordable and convenient enough for people to do the right thing,” said Darrin Dodge of Alpine Lumber. He said Alpine Lumber has definitely increased its “green” products. Many other local companies are also doing the same, doing what they can to help the environment.
The Grand County Builders Association acts as “an advocate for the building industry” in the county and considers itself a “collective voice” for the environment and the community. Members enjoy not only networking opportunities, but a chance to talk about new ideas and methods in the business.
“We’re truly trying to do what’s right for this industry as a whole,” said Mike Conger, who has served on the GCBA board for seven years and is the current president. “We want this membership informed, and we want feedback.”
As part of this goal, Conger announced that a newly revised version of the GCBA’s Web site, http://www.grandcountybuildersassoc.com, has recently been completed.
To find out how Waste-Not can help your business with its construction waste recycling opportunities, call Hawk at (970) 669-9912, (800) 584-9912, or visit http://www.waste-not.com.
For membership opportunities or more information the Grand County Builders Association, call (970) 726-8657.