GAIA Zero Waste MasterPlan - Page 67

Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) 67
©Napa Recycling & Waste Services
Construction and demolition (C&D) materials
comprise a significant amount of a city’s
waste stream, particularly in municipalities
experiencing rapid growth. Cities can reduce
C&D waste by reducing materials use at the
source, requiring the reuse and recycling of C&D
waste through ordinances or building permits,
requiring contractors to sort out recyclable C&D
waste at the source, creating zoning incentives
for development using recycled or reused
materials, and creating financial incentives
for contractors to deliver C&D materials of a
recovery facility through a deposit scheme.
Adaptive reuse is one source reduction
approach for C&D materials. It involves
renovating and retrofitting an existing building
so it can be reused for new, modern functions
and remain a community asset. Choosing
adaptive reuse over new construction reduces
material use at the source, prevents demolition
debris from entering the waste stream, and
preserves community culture by preserving
the unique visual character of a neighborhood.
Adaptive reuse also creates local jobs:
preservation of old buildings typically has a
higher proportion of labor expenses and a lower
proportion of material expenses compared to
new construction.[5] Studies show that new
construction projects create 40 jobs per $1
million invested, whereas the same investment
in adaptive reuse creates 43-49 jobs[6]. Any
structurally sound building can be fit for
adaptive reuse, such as old schools, abandoned
warehouses, and historic homes. Incentivizing
adaptive reuse through flexible land use
regulations, permit fee reductions, and tax
incentives should be taken into consideration
when developing a holistic zero waste plan.
5 Mohamed, R., Boyle, R., Yang, A., & Tangari, J. (2017).
Adaptive reuse: a review and analysis of its relationship
to the 3 Es of sustainability. Facilities, 35(3/4), 138-154.
doi: 10.1108/f-12-2014-0108
6 Historic preservation’s impact on job creation,
property values, and environmental sustainability.


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