LEED Recycling and Waste Management

Recycling has a positive impact on the environment and organizations are cropping up to incentivize construction to become more sustainable. LEED, one of the most globally recognized green-building initiatives, established a certification program to ensure all businesses are doing their part to make construction sustainable. Waste management and recycling is a critical component of getting and staying accredited. We take a closer look at the benefits of the program and how PBS can help with LEED recycling.

What is LEED?

First, let’s take a look at the program and what it’s trying to achieve. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It’s a globally recognized symbol of sustainability through construction projects. The rating system can be applied to all building types including new builds and refurbishments. Those who achieve LEED are given tools needed to improve the building’s sustainability performance. They are also identified as designing, constructing, and operating green buildings and neighborhoods for the community.

LEED considers many aspects of construction and is continuously updating their education and training to include the latest technology. The program requires certification and promotes sustainability throughout every step. So, where does PBS recycling services come into play? An aspect of building green is through effective recycling and waste management.

LEED Certification

LEED is a highly sophisticated program that requires certification before a building can fall under one of their four categories: certified, silver, gold, platinum. Different organizations are involved in the LEED program, but it’s mostly spear-headed by U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI). Together they establish the requirements for companies getting certified and running the program.

The accreditation process doesn’t have a prerequisite, but it would be helpful to have some knowledge of sustainability and green buildings. Logistical management is a critical element of sustainability. High scores are required for:

  1. Sustainable sites
  2. Water efficiency
  3. Energy and atmosphere
  4. Materials and resources
  5. Environmental quality

The construction waste management portion of the certification requires contractors to “redirect recyclable recovered resources back to the manufacturing process and reusable materials to appropriate sites” as opposed to sending demolition debris to landfills or incineration facilities. The program takes construction waste management seriously enough that it has split the credit into two parts. The first focus is on the plan itself, and the second involves the implementation.

Implementation works best when you hire experienced companies like PBS with roll-off containers that comply with LEED rules. PBS has been successful in helping achieve waste diversion goals on numerous LEED projects throughout Alabama. We effectively track the waste stream to articulate what and how much has been diverted.

The Importance of Construction Waste Management

Most C&DW (construction and demolition waste) are highly recyclable or reusable. C&DW materials include concrete, wood, asphalt, brick, glass, and more. In the United States, this type of waste is significant, especially when you consider how much of it is recyclable or reusable.

Through effective waste management of C&DW you can:

  • Make economic improvements by increasing business opportunities
  • Reduce the overall expense of your project
  • Conserve landfill space
  • Offset trips to disposal facilities
  • Reduce environmental issues associated with landfills and incineration
  • Lower energy consumption needed to create new building materials and products

Creating a Waste Management Plan

Waste management plans should include precise analysis of the anticipated waste products, cost, and how they will be removed. Establish goals by selecting five materials and estimate the approximate percentage of waste. Decide how the waste is organized. Will they be separated or commingled? The diversion strategy is essential to the plan as well. You need to consider how and who will remove the recyclable materials in accordance with the strict guidelines.

The standards are set at getting at least 50% of C&DW recycled. Getting the statistics up to 75% would earn you further points. To do that you must have an effective plan in place. Many builders will hire an experienced company like PBS to be in charge of the removal and disposal of their roll-off containers to ensure they are achieving these minimums.  

LEED Waste Management and Recycling Alabama

The organization of the recycling materials can be one of the most challenging aspects of the project. You have to consider the placement of the containers on-site to effectively manage the recyclable materials. Coupled with this concept is the timely removal and replacing the containers when they are at capacity. You don’t want to work with just any waste management contractor. Having experience meeting the requirements set forth by the LEED is an essential part of finding the right partnership. Working with a company such as PBS would ensure your materials and appropriate containers are moved and relocated responsibly. PBS strives to be an active participant in green building and has worked on and has worked on numerous LEED waste recycling projects in Alabama.

Get more information about PBS LEED services.

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