The Construction Industry’s Growing Waste Problem


This post is by Tessa Di Grandi from Visual Capitalist


The following content is sponsored by Northstar Clean Technologies

The Construction Industry’s Growing Waste Problem

Globally around 2 billion tonnes of waste is generated every year and the construction industry is a large contributor.

What’s more, demand for construction materials is growing alongside population and economic development, but the production of new materials to support this growth consumes both energy and resources.

The above infographic from Northstar Clean Technologies highlights the final destinations of construction and demolition (C&D) debris.

Breaking Down Waste

The sad truth is that only a small amount of C&D debris that could be repurposed actually is.

So where do these materials end up? Let’s take a look at the breakdown of C&D debris by destination in 2018, recorded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Material C&D Debris Type (million tons)LandfillCompost & MulchManu. ProductsAggregate, OtherFuelSoil Amend.
Concrete71.2032.8301.200
Wood29.62.51.207.50
Gypsum Drywall13.200.2001.9
Metal1.103.6000
Brick and Clay Tile10.8001.500
Asphalt Shingles13020.10.020
Asphalt Concrete4.9091.810.300

143.8 million tons of C&D waste was sent to landfill in 2018, consisting of a mix of materials ranging from wood, concrete, and asphalt.  

Concrete (Read more...)