The Construction Industry’s Growing Waste Problem

By Tessa Di Grandi
The Virtual Capitalist
November 15, 2022
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Globally around 2 billion tonnes of waste is generated every year and the construction industry is a large contributor. What’s more, demand for construction materials is growing alongside population and economic development, but the production of new materials to support this growth consumes both energy and resources. An infographic from Northstar Clean Technologies highlights the final destinations of construction and demolition (C&D) debris. The sad truth is that only a small amount of C&D debris that could be repurposed actually is. So where do these materials end up? 143.8 million tons of C&D waste was sent to landfill in 2018, consisting of a mix of materials ranging from wood, concrete, and asphalt. Concrete was the highest repurposed C&D material while other materials like asphalt shingles were primarily sent to landfill.

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