Design and Construction Recycling

Construction and demolition (C&D) materials contain bulky, heavy materials, such as concrete, wood, metals, glass, and salvaged building components. Building-related C&D debris totals more than 136 million tons per year or nearly 40% of municipal solid waste stream (U.S. EPA). Reducing and recycling these materials conserves landfill space, decreases the environmental impact of producing new materials, can ease overall building project expenses through avoided purchase and disposal costs, and is an important step towards achieving zero waste. A well-developed strategy is essential to a successful C&D waste reduction plan. UNC Asheville Campus Operations staff will work with designers and contractors to minimize construction waste.  The information below was created to guide construction and demolition waste management decisions on campus.

Relevant Regulations and Policies

Local laws and university policies require or encourage reducing waste from construction and demolition projects:

A. Executive Order 156: Executive Order 156 states that all NC state agencies “shall, to the extent feasible and practicable, implement project initiatives or modifications that result in energy efficiency, water conservation, pollution prevention, solid waste reduction, and land preservation during the construction and operation of agency facilities."

B. UNC Policy of Sustainability:  UNC Policy of Sustainability  outlines expectations that, “The University shall develop policies and programs that work toward achieving zero waste”.

C. NC state-wide landfill bans: North Carolina has banned the disposal of these items in landfills: motor oil, motor oil filters, yard debris, plastic bottles, wooden pallets, scrap tires, aluminum cans, antifreeze, lead-acid batteries, computer equipment, oyster shells, appliances, and televisions.

D. Buncombe County Landfill fines: “All trucks, roll-offs, or flat-bed (compacted or otherwise) of solid wastes which contain less than 5% by weight or volume, any of the following wastes: corrugated cardboard, untreated wood products suitable for mulching, concrete, cinder blocks, brick, concrete with steel or any type metals will pay $47.00 Per Ton at the Transfer Station & $43.00 Per Ton at the Landfill.”

1. First violation above the 5% limit: $86.00 per ton

2. Second violation or any subsequent violation occurring within 6 months of the first violation: $129 per ton

Waste Management Goals

Within the limits of the project schedule, contract budget, necessary materials, and available services, all construction and demolition projects on the UNC Asheville campus shall generate the least amount of waste possible. Campus-wide annual waste diversion or waste reduction rates for all Projects combined will meet the below standards:

A. A minimum of 50% combined diversion rate from landfill and incinerators through reuse or recycling for all construction waste generated on the UNC Asheville campus. Or,

B. Projects with a reduced waste stream may be exempt from waste diversion goals by meeting a standard set by the Project Manager and Environmental Specialist of waste produced per square foot. LEED sets this standard at a maximum of 2.5 lbs. of waste generated per affected square foot.

Waste Management Plan

Prior to any waste removal, the Contractor shall submit a draft Waste Management Plan to the Owner for review by the Project Manager and Environmental Specialist.  The draft plan shall be submitted electronically, using the provided spreadsheet template containing the proposed method of disposal for all jobsite waste streams. The Owner will have seven (7) days to review and submit feedback on the Draft Plan.

As waste streams are removed from the jobsite, the Contractor shall record type of material, quantity and method of removal and provide receipts, scale house tickets, and all other materials documenting waste management. An updated Waste Management Plan is expected with each payment application.

Waste Management Plan Implementation

A. Manager:  The Contractor shall designate an on-site party (or parties), experienced with or having a working knowledge of executing a Waste Management Plan, responsible for instructing workers and overseeing and documenting results of the Waste Management Plan for the Project.

B. Meetings: Contractor shall conduct Construction Waste Management discussions meetings. At a minimum, waste management goals and issues shall be discussed at the following meetings:

1. Pre-bid meeting

2. Pre-construction meeting

3. Regular job-site meetings including weekly and monthly meetings

C. Distribution:  The Contractor shall submit with each Application for Progress Payment a summary of waste generated by the project in the form of an updated Waste Management Plan. Completed or updated spreadsheets should be titled and saved with the project name and date of submittal and emailed to UNC Asheville Environmental Specialist at Failure to submit this information shall render the Application for Payment incomplete and shall delay Progress Payment.  The submitted plan shall contain the following information:

1. The amount (in tons or cubic yards) of material landfilled from the Project, the identity of the landfill, the total amount of tipping fees paid at the landfill, and the total disposal cost. Include manifests, weight tickets, receipt, and invoices as email attachments.

2. For each material recycled, reused, or salvaged from the Project, the amount (in tons or cubic yards), the date removed from the jobsite, the receiving party, the transportation cost, the amount of any money paid or received for the recycled or salvaged material, and the net total cost or savings of salvage or recycling each material.  Attach manifests, weight tickets, receipts, and invoices.

D. Instruction:  The Contractor shall provide on-site instruction for appropriate separation, handling, and recycling, salvage, reuse, and return methods to be used by all parties at the appropriate stages of the Project. The Owner may be able to provide educational signage or other instruction assistance.

E. Separation facilities: The Designer and Contractor shall coordinate to lay out and label a specific area to facilitate separation of materials for potential recycling, salvage, reuse, and return.  Recycling and waste bin areas are to be kept neat, clean and clearly marked in order to avoid contamination of materials. 

F. Hazardous wastes: Hazardous wastes shall be separated, stored, and disposed of according to federal and state regulations. Laws, rules, and regulations can be found through the NC Department of Environmental Quality Division of Waste Management.


Construction and Demolition Waste:  Solid wastes typically including building materials, packaging, trash, debris, and rubble resulting from construction, remodeling, repair and demolition operations.

Hazardous:  Exhibiting the characteristics of hazardous substances, i.e., ignitability, corrosivity, toxicity or reactivity.

Nonhazardous:  Exhibiting none of the characteristics of hazardous substances, i.e., ignitability, corrosivity, toxicity, or reactivity.

Recyclable:  The ability of a product or material to be recovered at the end of its life cycle and remanufactured into a new product for reuse by others.

Recycle:  To remove a waste material from the Project site to another site for remanufacture into a new product for reuse by others.

Recycling:  The process of sorting, cleansing, treating and reconstituting solid waste and other discarded materials for the purpose of using the altered form.  Recycling does not include burning, incinerating, or thermally destroying waste.

Return:  To give back reusable items or unused products to vendors for credit.

Reuse:  To reuse a construction waste material in some manner on the Project site.

Salvage:  To remove a waste material from the Project site to another site for resale or reuse by others.

Trash:  Any product or material unable to be reused, returned, recycled, or salvaged.

Waste:  Extra material or material that has reached the end of its useful life in its intended use.  Waste includes salvageable, returnable, recyclable, and reusable material.

Waste Management Plan:  A Project-related plan for the collection, transportation, and disposal of the waste generated at the construction site.  The purpose of the plan is to ultimately reduce the amount of material being landfilled.