Washington’s King County allows more businesses to take C&D material

King County, Washington, is increasing the number of private businesses that can take readily recyclable construction and demolition (C&D) material.

The new regulation, the nation’s first such ban on a countywide scale, requires C&D materials of value from projects in King County to be sent to facilities that sort out recyclable materials and dispose of the pieces too small or contaminated to have value.

The materials of value include metal, cardboard, new gypsum scrap, clean wood, asphalt paving, brick and concrete.

King County will continue its practice of directing C&D waste to privately owned transfer facilities, which are routinely monitored to ensure compliance with environmental standards.

To support this new regulation, King County has established a facility designation system covering both C&D processing facilities and C&D waste transfer facilities.

This system allows new C&D processing facilities to be designated in the future. Check the website at http://your.kingcounty.gov/solidwaste/greenbuilding/construction-demolition.asp for the updated list of facilities authorized to accept C&D recyclable materials and C&D waste.

Austin, Texas, passes C&D recycling ordinance

The city council of Austin, Texas, has passed an ordinance intended to increase the reuse and recycling of materials from construction and demolition projects.

Beginning Oct. 1, 2016, the city of Austin will require 50 percent diversion of materials from construction projects larger than 5,000 square feet. In 2019, the ordinance will expand to include all commercial demolition projects.

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Construction and demolition projects generate at least 20 percent of all materials that go to Austin area landfills, according to the Austin Resource Recovery agency.

“This ordinance takes a huge step toward achieving Austin’s zero waste goal by requiring more recycling and reuse of valuable materials,” says Austin Resource Recovery’s Director Bob Gedert.

Austin Resource Recovery says the ordinance “builds on two decades of construction material reuse and recycling guidelines championed by the Austin Energy Green Building (AEGB) program.

The ordinance had come under some scrutiny from an area demolition contractor, who warned of increased costs should it be passed, but Austin Resource Recovery notes many affordable housing developments are already required to comply with AEGB standards, including 50 percent materials diversion. The agency says the ordinance poses a neutral impact on affordable housing.

Other new projects could experience an increase of 0.1 to 0.2 percent in total construction costs, the agency estimates.

Austin Resource Recovery has posted information about the new Construction and Demolition Recycling Ordinance on its website at www.austintexas.gov/construction-demolition.