New Survey Shows Economic
Benefits of Recycling Construction Debris
Builders and demolition contractors can
help the environment and save money by recycling construction
and demolition waste rather than disposing of it.
A recent survey conducted by the New Jersey
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) shows that
recycling concrete rubble, asphalt debris, used bricks and
blocks, wood scrap and felled trees and stumps costs significantly
less than disposing of these materials as garbage.
The results of this survey provide
further evidence that recycling not only makes environmental
sense, but economic sense as well, stated DEP Commissioner
The survey results revealed that the average
cost to recycle concrete rubble is $7.50 per ton, the average
cost to recycle asphalt debris is $6.70 per ton and the
average cost to recycle used bricks and blocks is $9.50
per ton. Several of the recycling centers surveyed did not
charge any fee for the receipt of these recyclable waste
Recycling wood scrap, felled trees and
stumps also is economical, said Shinn. According to survey
results, the average cost to recycle wood scrap is $47.60
per ton and the average cost to recycle felled trees and
stumps is $33.50 per ton.
By recycling this material, builders
and demolition contractors not only conserve natural resources
and reduce the demand for new landfill capacity, but also
improve their bottom line as the average cost to dispose
of such material in New Jersey is over $68 per ton,
noted John Castner, director of the NJDEPs Division
of Solid and Hazardous Waste.
According to research conducted by the
National Association of Home Builders Research Center, a
typical builder pays $511 per house for construction waste
disposal. This expense can be greatly reduced by recycling
Clearly, the economic benefits of
recycling are significant and must be recognized when considering
the value and impact of recycling programs, said Guy
Watson, chief of the NJDEPs Bureau of Recycling and
The most current state figures show well
over a million tons of construction and demolition debris
are generated annually in New Jersey, but only about 58
percent is being recycled.
There are over 90 DEP-approved recycling
centers in New Jersey that recycle various components of
the construction and demolition waste stream. Visit the
DEP, Bureau of Recycling and Plannings website at
(Click on Class B Recycling Database) for information
on the nearest recycling center or call DEP at 609-984-3438.