When demolishing the interior of a 17,000-square-foot office in preparation for upcoming renovation, why throw away building material that can be reused or recycled? At Corporate Research I building on NC State’s Centennial Campus, the university’s Repair and Renovation department turned its latest and largest demolition project into a model for more sustainable waste diversion.
With the help of NC State’s Waste Reduction and Recycling office, Repair and Renovation recycled more than 72 tons of copper, carpet, drywall and metal while saving $30,500 worth of additional items – doors, window frames, locks, telephones and electronics – for reuse on other parts of campus.
“Partnership made this work and made it efficient,” said James Valentine, the project’s lead maintenance mechanic.
“All of Facilities [Division] workers want to see items reused. They do not like to see waste,” said Repair and Renovation project manager Jeffrey Luz. “Given the tools to allow them to recycle and reuse products makes everyone feel good about their jobs.”
In addition to this project, NC State’s ongoing construction waste diversion efforts include a partnership with Habitat for Humanity, which salvages building material the university can no longer use, and an on-campus recycling and reuse convenience site.
Construction and demolition waste remains one of the nation’s largest waste streams though most of the discarded material can be reused or recycled, which preserves landfill space, limits production or purchase of new materials, decreases environmental impacts and saves money.
“Our personnel are conscious of cost and use of materials and always look to see what would make the university better,” said Johnny Chine, Repair and Renovation’s project group manager.
These efforts help NC State progress toward its goal of diverting 65 percent of all its waste from landfills through reuse, recycling or composting.