What Can You Recycle at Your Construction Site

If you own a construction company or are remodeling your own home, you need to know what items can be recycled. Under the pressure of deadlines, you might be tempted to dump all the trash in the regular dumpster, losing valuable resources unnecessarily. Unfortunately, almost 40% of the estimated 251 million tons of waste generated in the United States each year comes from construction projects. Keeping your company green is good for the environment as well as your company's reputation and financial bottom line. 

Recyclable Materials

In the United States, approximately 325 million tons of "recoverable" construction materials are engendered each year, including concrete, wood, asphalt, and metal. Instead of allowing those items to end up in the nation's landfills, you can place them in construction recycle bins. You can recycle an amazing array of items, including these:

  • Brick
  • Dirt
  • Concrete
  • Appliances
  • Carpet
  • Roofing
  • Unpainted wood
  • Drywall

In addition to recycling these items, experts recommend reusing materials that have been salvaged from the site, which will reduce your overhead and keep the landfills less crowded. Remember, if you cannot use these items, someone else can. 

Cost Effectiveness

Approximately 90% of construction waste can be recycled or reused. Disposing of your waste materials can be costly. For instance, in Portland, Oregon, the disposal price per ton is around $94. However, you may pay little or nothing for a company to recycle those materials for you. Some cities now require that construction sites meet certain recycling "thresholds" or face significant fines. If you do not follow the city's regulations, you can add thousands of dollars in costs to your project. 


Since you will probably be dealing with a number of subcontractors, you need to coordinate your recycling efforts with them to ensure that everyone is onboard with being green. Discuss your expectations and run routine site checks to make sure everyone is in compliance with your plan. You will spend a little extra time in oversight, but the environment and your bottom line will benefit. 

If you are managing a construction site, you need to take an active interest in recycling whatever construction materials you possibly can. You will be keeping unnecessary waste from building up in America's landfills while saving yourself money on disposal fees. Because many cities are regulating the amount of material you need to recycle, you may be saving yourself from paying expensive fines as well. An organized and conscientious recycling effort on your part will benefit everyone. Find recycling containers for your construction jobs by contacting a provider in the area.