Waste to Value in the Construction Industry

This is a guest post from Kristie Lewis who wants to give us an insight into the Waste to Value aspects in the cnstruction industry.

Construction companies haul large amounts of waste to landfills every day. Where this waste goes and what people decided to do with it can have major effects on our sustainable future. Some are recycling construction materials into other products; while some are recycling waste into construction materials. These two different approaches could shape the future of large-scale recycling in the industry.

Resell Wasted Wood
According to research conducted by Cornell University, wood waste generated during the construction process could be a revenue opportunity for entrepreneurs.
While there are various sources of waste – demolition and construction included – the largest source of potentially recoverable waste comes from the lumber manufacturing sector. The industry produces 82.1 million tons of wood waste that has a 100 percent potential for recovery.
Currently, 94 percent of that waste is being recovered. However, there are no estimates available for the 31.7 million tons of wood waste that is being produced by the demolition and construction industries.
Wood waste can be altered in order to create mulch for landscaping or pressed into composition board. There is also the option to open a waste disposal facility that competes with traditional landfills. By specializing in construction waste materials and debris, there is also the opportunity to reuse or resell the materials. Forecasts for an increasingly green agenda propose that organic materials will be sought after as important components of biofuel feedstock.

Repurpose Materials
Dan Phillips is a bit of a legend in the sustainable construction industry. As one of the most creative and environmentally conscious builders in the country, Dan builds houses made almost completely of waste products.
Phillips began his construction Company, Phoenix Communication, at the age of 52. In addition to building homes with 80 percent repurposed materials, Dan focuses on building these homes for low-income families who would be unable to afford to own a quality home without assistance.
Phillips has built more than a dozen homes in his hometown of Huntsville, Texas, and city officials began working with him in order to provide storage for recyclable materials. The city did not charge a dumping fee and donations were tax deductible. This model for recyclable dumping was adopted by Houston, Texas, the town’s urban neighbor.
The homes are small and offer no modern luxuries, but they are energy efficient and unique.


Familiar with the industry, Kristie Lewis knows that not all construction management careers are the same. Read her posts to gain a better understanding or contact her directly at Kristie.lewis81@gmail.com.

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