How To Keep Construction Sites Green

When you're piling up the debris on a construction or demolition job, recycling might not be the first thing that comes to mind. Sorting the cardboard and glass is routine at home, but when you're handling electrical equipment and roofing materials, recycling may seem impractical. You're not alone, as 35 percent of materials sitting in Canadian landfills is construction waste, much of which could be recovered for some other use. 

As a contractor, you want to be ahead of the curve with industry standards. Not only do you care about sustainability, but highlighting your environmentally friendly practices to clients will set you further apart from the competition. Here are some ways to support sustainability while on the job.

Recover Debris 

Much of the debris that you handle while on a construction or demolition job is made from commodities that can be recovered for recycling or composting. Whether you are tearing off asphalt shingles from the roof or breaking up concrete slabs, those materials could be ground, crushed and recycled. Incidentally, these particular materials can be recycled into byproducts used for something completely different, including the roads on which you drive your equipment. 

The recovering of materials doesn't only apply to the debris on the outside of the home, either. You could just as easily recover tile-ceiling panels in addition to carpets made from nylon or polyester, for instance, all of which could be recycled and reused in some related capacity.

When it comes time to transport the sorted construction and demolition waste to specialized recycling centers, contact a garbage-collection service like Quik Pick Waste Disposal to haul away the debris. Keep in mind that this debris can create a danger zone, so you may want to consider temporary construction fencing to section off these items until they're collected.  

Get Certified

Earn a sustainability certification for the amount of recycling that you do on construction and demolition job sites. The Canada Green Building Council uses the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standard for builders. You earn a rating that reflects your commitment to sustainability, and you keep track of your efforts, such as recycling, through a software program that must be purchased. 


Recycling materials from a construction or demolition site requires more work compared to having the waste dumped in a single location. However, by making the effort, you will be helping to create a more sustainable construction industry that relies less heavily on landfills for its waste.