Close to half of the garbage generated in America doesn’t come from individual homes or businesses. It comes from construction sites.
The construction industry has been down in the dumps for several years, but on the University of Washington campus, it’s booming. As part of a $475 million surge in construction, new dormitories have been cropping up left and right at UW. That means old buildings have been coming down.
For more than half a century, Lander Hall stood nine stories tall and covered most of a city block. Tearing down the old dorm last year took weeks.
Day after day, excavator machines with huge hydraulic jaws stretched toward the sky and chewed into the dorm. Floor by floor, chunks of concrete, rebar and wood plummeted toward the ground.
One operator was seriously injured last summer when a 20-ton slab of concrete fell on the cab of his excavator.
Convoys of trucks carted all that very heavy debris away. In the end, Lander Hall was reduced to 7,600 tons of concrete and 850 tons of iron.
About 40 percent of America’s waste comes from construction sites. In Washington state, construction and demolition debris peaked in 2006 before the construction sector imploded. As the state’s economy climbs out of its doldrums, construction waste is again approaching record levels. … Continued on KUOW.org where this report first appeared.
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