Bulky materials such as ceiling tiles, bricks, glass, carpeting, cabinetry, and cement from construction and renovation projects can be expensive to remove. Many of Practice Greenhealth member hospitals have been able to reduce the amount of construction and demolition debris that goes to landfills by nearly 80 percent by:
- Building recycling and reuse goals and requirements into new construction contracts
- Purchasing fewer materials or purchasing more recyclable and/or reusable construction materials at the outset of a project
- Better segregation of materials such as furniture, cabinetry, and lighting fixtures for recycling, reuse, or donation during demolition and construction
- Reducing the number of times debris containers need to be emptied by restricting access and only calling for haul-away when full
These strategies, among others, have saved members on both the costs of construction materials and on the disposal of debris, and contributed to organizational goals for new construction to meet LEED certification requirements.
Anne Arundel Medical Center included debris recycling and diversion goals in all new construction contracts, allowing them to divert and recycle 50 to 75 percent of all debris. The success led to a cascade of additional cost-saving efficiencies in building design and construction.
Practice Greenhealth offers resources and case studies to help our members assess the best ways to reduce construction and demolition waste and other ways to make new build and renovation projects more sustainable. Our goal is to provide step-by-step resources that will make it simpler for any hospital with a construction waste reduction goal to design, implement, and measure the success of their efforts.