The Routt County Climate Action Plan (CAP) identifies emissions reduction targets for the waste sector of 46% diverted by 2030 and 85% by 2050. Within the CAP, Waste Strategy 1, Action 7 states, “Develop a construction and demolition diversion program.” To date there is no formalized program for diversion of construction and demolition (C&D) materials, but there are some businesses that are leading the way by doing some deconstruction and diversion of materials. The City of Steamboat Springs, with its sustainable approach to the demolition of City Hall, is one of those entities. Read more about their sustainability efforts here.
Why this is a Climate Win:
Construction and demolition debris is the material generated during the construction and demolition phases of structures, such as buildings and civil engineering structures. C&D materials are one of the primary components of waste going to landfills across the US, with C&D volumes typically as high or higher than the amount of municipal solid waste sent to landfills. Reusing materials, instead of landfilling them, is beneficial in that the greenhouse gas emissions from all the activities involved in creating new products from virgin materials (extraction, transportation, manufacturing), are avoided when materials are reused. Recognizing the need to reuse these materials, buildings may be deconstructed, rather than demolished, which involves disassembling the building in a way that allows recovery of valuable materials.
Thank you to the City of Steamboat Springs for helping to set a precedent for our community, and other mountain towns, to follow!