Recycling rates are computed with a simple formula. Take the total tonnage of debris that comes into a facility, subtract the tonnage that is sent to the landfill, and everything else is “recycled”. This method is weight based and as such does not give any accounting for the materials that are actually kept out of the landfill.
The heaviest most profitable materials are always recycled, making a high diversion rate at traditional facilities fairly easy to achieve. Concrete, asphalt, dimensional lumber from wood framed buildings, steel girders, copper pipe, copper wire, aluminum door and window frames, this is all captured, cleaned, and sold. Wood, concrete, asphalt, and metals make up roughly 76% of all incoming debris at a traditional facility, so simply recycling these materials satisfy the State and City mandates, the end products are sold, and there is no reason to divert other materials.
Commercial interior debris has a completely different ratio of materials. Gypsum drywall makes up 27% by weight of all interior demolition debris. If a traditional facility is not sorting and recycling just this one material, they are not achieving an actual 75% diversion for the commercial interior project. Just one commodity is enough to change the balance of the recycling paradigm.
Construction and Demolition Recycling Inc. was created to prove that actual, verifiable diversion in excess of the State and Local mandates was possible, even if the incoming material was largely comprised of materials that standard facilities do not recover.