Skip to main content Site Map

 A message regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) 
 Our office is closed to walk-in traffic.

Bridge near Memphis

Recycling Tips for Your Construction Waste

Picture of a Waste Connections Memphis roll off container in an alley.

Did you know Waste Connections of Memphis can help you recycle your construction waste? A large part of waste that goes into landfills is construction waste. By reducing the amount of construction waste that goes into our landfills, we can prolong the life of the landfill and do our part in being environmentally responsible.

Like our day-to-day efforts, even modest efforts to make better use of debris or existing building materials can make significant changes in the amount of construction waste that is produced. Even if you start construction on a greenfield site, you’re going to have some construction waste in the form of cardboard from boxes, wood and plastic packaging, and excess building materials.

What Kinds of Construction Waste Can Be Recycled?
Depending on where your next project is being built, there can be a lot of excess materials around the project site. However, the Evironmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a list of partnerships and programs you can access to help reduce the amount of construction waste that’s produced in in typical building projects. Many recyclable items around the construction site include:

  • Masonry – this can actually be ground up and used again for road bases and driveway materials
  • Windows, doors, and roofing materials – these can be used and saved for other projects
  • Appliances and fixtures – baths, sinks, mirrors, and more can be refitted and used elsewhere
  • Lumber and wood – these products (where reusable) can be converted to mulch or biomass fuel
  • Metals – various metals can be used for smelting and converted into other products
  • Vegetation and trees – can be replanted or used for biomass fuel
  • Cardboard and paper – can easily be recycled for pulping and new products
  • Plastic crates/containers, bags, and sheets – these can be reused when possible, otherwise many of these items can be recycled.
Some construction waste materials can have a negative impact on health and the environment if they are simply disposed of in a landfill. When lead comes in contact with water, the water turns toxic. Plasterboard in landfills releases hydrogen sulfide, which is a poisonous gas.

Build What You Can Back Into the New Building
The smartest and easiest way to recycle construction waste is to integrate it back into the new building or the new building site. Sometimes this happens naturally, like in remodeling projects. Walls are not necessarily demolished. They may simply be redecorated, moved, or reconfigured. Lumber cut-offs in wood-framed constructions may be useful for fire blocking or as spacers. The EPA also offers a list of programs and websites that offer recycling tips and guidelines to turn your next project into a green build.

Build to Standard Dimensions
Some projects may offer the chance to use building materials supplied in standard measurements. Incorporate this recycling tip into your project practices on a consistent basis. The less you have to adapt or cut, the less wastage you’ll have at the end of the project. In addition to using less waste, you’ll also save time and effort by not having to make necessary adjustments to the materials. Framing layouts can be planned to use standard wood lengths, for instance. Standard dimensions also make it easier to reuse any materials you have left over.

Work with Your Local Recycling Center
Being efficient with your travel time is an important recycling tip that we can’t stress enough. The key word here is local. Waste Connections Memphis works with construction companies to help recycle construction waste and reduce the amount that ends up in the landfill. However, if it takes too much time, effort, and fuel to transport construction waste for recycling, you might not be reducing any waste at all. If this is the case, look for another solution like repurposing, reducing, or avoiding waste instead. To have Waste Connections Memphis help you with your construction waste, you can click here to contact us, call us at 901-398-5400, or visit us at:

Waste Connections of Tennessee in Memphis
621 E. Brooks Rd.
Memphis, TN 38116

By adding all of the absolutely necessary trips to your overall construction schedule and planning phases helps minimize the overall impact of your construction waste. Take construction waste to the recycling center on the way out when you go to fetch new building materials, for instance..

Picture of a construction site.
Deconstruct, Don’t Demolish
This recycling tip will help you cut waste and help make some of your profit back. There are organizations exist in some areas to remove reusable items without damage for reuse in social housing projects. There may also be tax advantages to the customer who is paying for the overall project. Alternatively, a front yard sale of these items during the construction project is a great way to reduce the amount of construction waste created by your project.

Calculate the Savings
In case you had any doubts about it, recycling construction waste is not only a way of helping the planet, but also an opportunity for higher profitability and better prices to customers. By purchasing fewer new materials, recycling construction waste without having to transport it, or reselling it where is has market value, there are positive economic and environmental consequences.

By following these recycling tips, you’ll be able to effectively reduce the amount of construction waste you produce on your next project. Waste Connections Memphis can provide construction waste recycling services for your next build or projects. We can also help you with your L.E.E.D.S. project requirements to recycle construction materials. For more information on how Waste Connections Memphis can help you with your construction waste, give us a call at 901-398-5400 or click here to contact us!

Last Modified:


Visit the News section often to learn more about the many environmentally conscious and civics-oriented efforts Waste Connections of TN supports in the greater Memphis area. We will also provide service updates, Memphis recycling and waste disposal tips and informative articles on how you can support our efforts to keep Metro Memphis safe and clean.