Why construction recycling is important

The beneficial impact of recycling efforts on our environment isn’t exactly a secret. For decades, we’ve been hearing about the evidence of energy savings, landfill space reduction and what it all means to the future or our communities.

Demolition scrap recycling

And yet, even when faced with all the good that comes from responsibly recycling scrap materials, many construction and demolition companies still choose not to do so at their job sites. It doesn’t matter what the environmental benefits are; recycling is too big a hassle, costs too much, or just isn’t worth the time. If your company is one of these companies, hearing about more about “carbon footprints” probably isn’t going to help change your mind.

So why should we recycle when those reasons aren’t good enough? Let’s focus on how recycling can benefit your business directly, especially with the right scrap management program in place on your job site.

Green looks good on you

Once upon a time, recycling was almost a novelty in the construction and demolition industries. Today, recycling scrap and waste materials isn’t just a nice bonus service you can tack on to your invoice anymore. Customers and clients of all types, from private contractors and corporations to public and governmental services, expect it. In fact, many government agencies provide great incentives for C&D businesses who take recycling into account.

A construction or demolition company that doesn’t have a scrap management plan that involves recycling may not only look out-of-touch to potential customers, but they also lose big projects with clients who believe in the importance of recycling. Either scenario is potentially poison to the health of your business.

Being a responsible recycler isn’t all image and client satisfaction, though. It’s also about saving your company some cash.

Sustainability through quality scrapping

If you work in construction, chances are you’re already using materials that contain a high percentage of recycled metals in your latest project. Who could blame you? These products are just as strong and durable as the ones made from virgin ore, but much more cost-effective. So if you know recycling scrap metal helps keep your project costs low, why wouldn’t you want to contribute to the process that keeps it that way?

By recycling the solid waste materials on your construction or demolition site, you’re able to help ensure a better price for supplies not just for yourself, but for the entire industry. And we’re not just talking about scrap metal either. Nearly 90% of C&D waste can be recycled. That includes not just the glass and plastic you toss in a blue bin at home, but also masonry-like concrete and bricks, plumbing fixtures, certain types of drywall and even asphalt. All of these materials can be used in new building construction, making the process a lot more affordable.

The processing and use of recycled materials also impacts the communities you work in. Whether it’s creation of jobs to the local steel mill or recycling center, or using tax funds more economically through their purchase, recycling puts more money into local economies. That could potentially mean more business for you when the next big project rolls around.

Don’t forget: Green is also the color of money

When you pay someone to haul away your C&D waste without giving any thought to sorting and recycling those materials, you’re letting them drive money right off your job site. Think they’re just going to dump it at a landfill? In fact, it’s more likely that the haulers will sort it all themselves, then sell it for a tidy profit on top of the fee you paid them to take it.

Why let someone else profit from the scrap you worked so hard to generate? By partnering with a trustworthy scrap metal recycler who can get a quality scrap management program up and running at your job site, you could be earning top dollar on that mountain of metal your crew has created, helping you offset any end-of-project costs and increasing your project’s profitability. To do anything else is to just throw cash out with the garbage.

All this, plus saving the environment, too

It’s true that there can be some minor inconveniences to putting a working recycling program into place. The major benefits of improved customer perception, continued supply cost reduction and increased profitability, however, clearly outweigh any misgivings you may have about C&D waste and scrap management. And all the energy savings and waste reduction you keep hearing about? Just think of them as icing on the cake.

photo credit: Eddie-S via Flickr cc

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