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E – 1161 Guidelines for Construction and Demolition Debris and Recycling

Intended Audience: construction, structural, and civil, engineers.



Any company involved with building-construction, demolition, or renovation creates construction and demolition (C&D) debris. This debris can consist of three types of waste: (1) inert or nonhazardous waste; (2) hazardous waste as regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA); and (3) items that contain hazardous components that might be regulated by some states. This course describes the required procedures to be followed when generating, storing, transporting, or disposing of hazardous waste. Often the best way to deal with the waste is to keep it out of landfills by reducing its volume, reusing it, and recycling it, and the course provides guidelines on how this can best be done. Several successful case studies of recycling demolition materials are presented.

This course is based on a compilation of four EPA Green Building documents: “RCRA in Focus: Construction,” “Demolition, and Renovation,” “Recover Your Resources,” “Using Recycled Industrial Materials in Buildings,” and “Recycling at Automotive Site Spurs Revitalization.”

Learning Objectives

At the successful conclusion of this course, you’ll be able to identify and discuss:

  • Federal definition of hazardous waste
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
  • The three categories of hazardous waste generators
  • The four lists of hazardous wastes
  • The four characteristics of hazardous wastes
  • Hazardous waste codes
  • Typical RCRA wastes in C&D debris
  • Managing C&D debris containing mercury, lead, and asbestos
  • Hazardous waste requirements checklist for construction
  • Life cycle of a typical renovation/construction waste
  • Methods for reducing the amount of waste generated
  • Managing oil and tires waste
  • Other environmental laws affecting the construction industry
  • Reduction, reuse, and recycling of C&D materials: ideas and examples
  • Benefits to C&D recycling
  • Using recycled industrial materials in buildings
  • Case study of a successful brownfield C&D waste reduction project

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