Materials recycling is one part of a larger loop for demolition contractors.
"We believe in recycling and actively promote to our members to expand their C&D recycling activities,” Mike Taylor, executive director of the National Demolition Association (NDA), told attendees of the 2010 C&D Recycling Forum in early October.
At a session titled “The Demolition Impact,” Taylor offered a history of the association, including its increased attention to environmental stewardship.
Taylor noted that the NDA’s board of directors has identified environmental stewardship as a key issue as part of its strategic planning process, and also noted that recycling is nothing new for NDA members.
Contractors have always sought to salvage or recycle materials with value, and now do so more than ever. “Some of the opportunities out there for us involve maximizing the recycling of materials—we make money at it,” Taylor stated.
Second-generation demolition contractor S. Barbee Cox III of S.B. Cox Inc., Richmond, Va., informed attendees that his family company started out as “basically a deconstruction and salvage company” that sought reusable materials from about-to-be-demolished structures.
The company has subsequently grown to include rolloff hauling services, full-service demolition, ready-mix concrete production, operating a landfill and, as of 2008, operating a mixed C&D sorting and recycling facility. That facility has provided a competitive edge to S.B. Cox Inc. as it vies for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) demolition, renovation and construction business.
Cox also told attendees, “I tell employees all the time that we’re recycling the most valuable asset we have: we recycle land.”
Presenter Jason Haus of Dem-Con Cos., Shakopee, Minn., also urged the demolition industry to bear in mind that they are “the original recyclers—you recycle the most valuable product in every project: the land.”
Among the services Dem-Con offers in the Twin Cities area is the operation of a mixed C&D facility. “It’s a necessity now for contractors to get jobs; if you don’t recycle, you don’t get the work.”
Haus provided an overview of Dem-Con’s operations and offered advice to attendees who might be considering setting up their own plant. “Know your goals for end products and end markets first. We can separate stuff all day long, but without a market to sell to we’re not setting up a viable business.”
He urged attendees to learn aspects of the market that may be unique to their own operating region, but also to “travel, talk and ask questions” as they do their research.
The 2010 C&D Recycling Forum took place Oct. 3-5 at the Sheraton Inner Harbor in Baltimore.