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hauls away the debris leaving nothing behind. The site surface is typically cleared to
grade on completion of the demolition project or contract. Subsurface components are
All debris is landfilled under a conventional demolition project contrary to the objective
of reducing solid waste. Opportunities exist to reduce the volume of solid waste using
different machinery or techniques for the demolition.
3-3.2 Recycle (Quality/Results). Recycling is generally efficient for site surface
restoration. Recycling bins are organized at the site and site clean up is coordinated
with other demolition activities to clear the site to grade on completion of the project.
Recycling is favorable for waste diversion and potentially reduces the amount of solid
waste that ends up in a landfill. Site/source separation will yield a greater amount of
material that can be recycled. Approximately 70 percent of demolition debris can be
diverted from the landfill and recycled, but this figure will vary depending on the type of
building being demolished, and the effectiveness of the local recycling infrastructure
3-3.3 Recover (Quality/Results). This method is generally efficient for site surface
restoration. Provisions for removing and disposing of unrecoverable materials and
restoration of the site to grade would have to be included in the contract. Typically,
subsurface components would be abandoned.
With recovery and reuse, there is significant potential to reduce solid waste. Depending
on the condition of the structure and material removed, the volume of waste ending up
in a landfill can be greatly reduced. Typically, recovering selected building materials for
reuse (in addition to the recycling activities described above) can divert as much as 85
percent of the demolition waste.
3-3.4 Deconstruct (Quality/Results). Manual deconstruction may leave the site with
some building structure remaining. Restoring the site to grade will generally require
heavy machinery to remove such elements as the concrete foundation. If the
deconstruction requires that materials be sorted and stored before resale or reuse,
clean up may be a problem. The site is likely to be neglected and left disorderly.
Deconstruction dramatically reduces the amount of waste that must be shipped to
landfills. The amount of reusable lumber and architectural fixtures that can be salvaged
for reuse increases with hand demolition. As materials are removed, they can be
carefully separated to avoid cross-contamination, thus yielding a higher volume of
material for recycling or reuse. Removing a building or major portions thereof intact (in
addition to the recycling and recovery activities described above) can typically divert as
much as 90 percent of building waste from the landfill.
3-4 SAFETY. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) governs
demolition safety with published rules in 29 CFR 1926. Also USACE EM 385-1-1 and
UFGS 01525N Safety Requirements address safety and health requirements for
demolition activities. These requirements address in detail the types of worker