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August 2004

Survey Documents Economic Benefits of Recycling Debris from Construction and Demolition Projects

Trenton, NJ— Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell released a survey that shows builders and contractors save money by recycling construction and demolition waste, while also providing environmental benefits.

“When builders and demolition contractors recycle they not only lower their operating costs, but also conserve natural resources and reduce demand for landfill capacity,” said Commissioner Campbell. “We encourage all companies that handle construction debris to use one of the numerous recycling facilities across the state.”

DEP’s survey completed in April 2004 indicates that the average cost to recycle construction material like concrete rubble is $4.85 per ton versus an average of $75 per ton to dispose of the material in a landfill. The survey shows similar cost savings to recycle other material, including asphalt at $5.70 per ton and bricks and block at $5.49 per ton. Recycling scrap wood costs $46.43 per ton and felled trees and stumps average recycling costs are $37.69 per ton, both an economical choice when compared to the $75 average disposal cost.

In 2002, 4.5 million tons of construction and demolition debris was recycled in New Jersey, the latest statistics available for the state.

New Jersey’s recycling industry employs more than 27,000 people in New Jersey with total receipts valued at $5.9 billion annually.

DEP is updating its Statewide Solid Waste Management Plan to identify ways to increase recycling, composting as well as source reduction and the removal of household hazardous waste from the normal disposal stream. DEP held public hearings in 2003 on a draft plan to get comments from interested parties and expects to release a new proposal for public comment this summer.

Nearly 100 DEP-approved recycling centers in New Jersey accept construction and demolition debris.

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