1 DECEMBER 2002
SELECTION OF DEMOLITION WASTE REDUCTION, REUSE AND RECYCLING
METHODS SELECTION OF DEMOLITION WASTE REDUCTION, REUSE AND
GENERAL. There is a significant amount of C&D waste developed due to
construction activities and structure demolition. For example, at Army installations
actively involved in a Facility Reduction Program, C&D waste accounts for up to 80
percent of the solid waste stream. At both active and inactive Army installations, there
are about 26,000 WWII structures Army-wide that, if demolished, will produce
approximately 6 billion lb, or roughly 10.6 million cu yd of debris. Demolishing and
landfilling the building waste incurs significant life-cycle expense to the government as
landfill space is diminishing. Landfilling debris unnecessarily wastes both natural
resources and valuable landfill space.
DEMOLITION. Traditionally, buildings are removed by means of conventional
mechanical demolition techniques. "Demolition" refers to the razing of a building with
heavy equipment in such a way that the building components are rendered into rubble
and are fit for nothing more than landfill. Demolition provides no opportunity for cost
offsets or to generate income. Many alternatives are being practiced in the commercial
market and have proven to be successful at reducing the amount of demolition debris
that ends up in the landfill.
ALTERNATIVES TO DEMOLITION. Alternatives to demolition include recycling,
recovery, and deconstruction. Recycling includes diverting materials that are not
reusable from the solid waste stream and using these extracted materials as feedstock
for reprocessing into other useful products. Recovery includes the removal of materials
or components from the solid waste stream in a manner that retains its original form and
identity, for the purpose of reuse in the same or similar form as it was produced.
Deconstruction means systematic dismantling of a building, preserving the integrity of
the materials, with the goal of maximizing the recovery of salvageable materials for
potential reuse and recycling. While these all sound very logical and simple, there is no
"one size fits all" solution. Some options that will work for certain situations will not be
feasible in others.
DECISION MATRIX. Personnel involved in demolition activities need some
method to quickly evaluate alternatives to traditional demolition relevant to specific
project objectives and conditions. The attached decision matrix includes various project
objectives and project conditions that are matched with the alternative methods of
building removal. Conventional demolition is considered a benchmark for comparison.
Comparing the performance of each of the alternative approaches will enable personnel
to assess their feasibility under the specific project limitations. The requirements and
constraints surrounding demolition are defined and included in this matrix as project
objectives and project constraints. Certain parameters generally govern the successful
completion of a demolition requirement. These objectives include: cost constraints; time