When purchasing material and resources for a LEED Certified building, you must ultimately consider from where the product came.
Today, unlike 20 years ago, there are hundreds of recycling companies across the country. Collection companies and recycling processors work together to collect and reproduce materials into new usable materials.
Recycled material and resources are items that are purchased for a site that are made with recycled materials: wood, metal, plastic, cardboard.
- We use new materials.
- Those materials are replaced for various reasons and need to be disposed of.
- The materials go to collection sites. Collection sites often sell this material (the commodity) for a price and are willing to pass that income to individuals and groups who can provide large quantities.
- Collection sites move the bulk materials to various recycling plants.
- The plants process and produce new resale materials.
- Individuals and companies buy recycled materials.
Items that can be worth money if when given to a collection site:
- Metal $$$$
- Cardboard $$
- Plastic $
Rebates fluctuate like the stock market. Your gain depends on the market and the weight of your load.
The only way to sustain the recycling effort is to provide materials that you use to recycling processors so they have something to recycle. The Construction Industry is one of the largest producers of recyclable waste next to manufacturing, maybe. This is why waste disposal is such an important part of a construction project. Some disposal companies will provide several different roll off containers for recycling:
- Asphalt – reprocessed into asphalt
- Cardboard – reprocessed into cardboard
- Concrete – reprocessed into concrete and gravel
- Dirt – used by landfills for top cover
- Drywall – reprocessed into drywall
- Green waste – used as mulch and compost
- Metal – melted and reprocessed into other metal goods
- Plastic – recycled into all kinds of product
- Wood – reprocessed into wood products
It is the responsibility of the site supervisor to be sure the loads are uncontaminated as many recycling collection facilities will reject contaminated loads.
Points for Material and Resources
Materials & resources credits encourage using sustainable building materials and reducing waste.
- Prereq 1 Storage & Collection of Recyclables
- Credit 1.1 Building Reuse, Maintain of Existing Walls, Floors & Roof
- Credit 1.2 Building Reuse, Maintain of Interior Non-Structural Elements
- Credit 2 Construction Waste Management.
- Credit 3.1 Materials Reuse, 5% – 10%
- Credit 4 Recycled Content, (post-consumer + pre-consumer)
- Credit 5.1 Regional Materials. Extracted, Processed & Manufactured Regionally
- Credit 6 Rapidly Renewable Materials
- Credit 7 Certified Wood
For more articles on specific LEED Categories click the links below.
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