Iowa Deconstruction & Reuse Initiative

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RETHINKING DEMOLITION

In a joint effort to establish deconstruction and materials reuse methods as feasible options for reducing construction and demolition waste, Center on Sustainable Communities (COSC) and the Iowa Waste Reduction Center (IWRC) at the University of Northern Iowa are partnering to provide Iowans with online resources and statewide trainings.

De-con-struc-tion – the systematic disassembly of buildings in order to maximize recovered materials reuse and recycling – is emerging as an alternative to demolition around the world that provides important social, economical and environmental benefits to local communities.

Let’s turn common debris into a resource, not a waste! 

Much of the waste thrown in landfills from demolition of building structures is perfect for salvage and reuse. Some of these old buildings, homes and barns were built with old growth wood that is far superior to lumber available in the market today. Other materials that are readily recyclable or salvaged include bricks, concrete, asphalt roofing, drywall, rock, and carpeting. There are markets for this material to be reused or recycled but often times it is just tossed in the landfill after demolition or a renovation project.

This material is based upon work supported under a grant by the Rural Utilities Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Rural Utilities Service.  The Iowa Waste Reduction Center at the University of Northern Iowa is an equal opportunity provider and employer.