Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Sign In
Careers Contact Live Chat

Construction and Demolition Waste


​​​The revised Construction and Demolition – Waste Reduction and Recycling Toolkit is now available online.

PDF File Construction and Demolition – Waste Reduction and Recycling Toolkit

Material from the construction, demolition and renovation of buildings makes up one-third of our region’s waste.

Metro Vancouver aims to increase the recycling rate of the construction, renovation and demolition industry to 80% by diverting recyclable materials, such as wood from disposal.

Construction waste

Construction waste is clean and easy to sort at each stage of construction. For example, most wood waste is produced during framing and cardboard packaging is generated when interior finishes and appliances are installed.

With planning, new construction projects in the region have been able to reuse or recycle more than 75% of their potential waste materials, saving builders money on disposal costs and keeping usable materials out of the landfill.

Renovation and demolition waste

Here are some planning tips to consider before any demolition or renovation work begins:

  1. List all materials that may need recycling or disposal.
  2. Ensure a hazardous materials survey is completed by a qualified professional.
  3. For renovation projects, look for opportunities to avoid complete replacement. Updates such as resurfacing with new paint or repairing in-place can produce similar outcomes.
  4. Identify salvage opportunities before the materials are removed. Ask a salvage contractor or reuse store to help you figure out which materials can be reused.
  5. Identify opportunities to recycle materials that are not reusable. Find facilities on Metro Vancouver Recycles that accept the materials so they can be moved off site quickly following demolition.
  6. Find facilities that take your non-hazardous leftover job-site materials for disposal. Landfills accept a variety of materials but some are prohibited and restricted at local disposal facilities. Check with the facility before delivering your residuals.​​​



Examples of reusable and recyclable materialsExamples of reusable and recyclable materials<div class="ExternalClass9DEC8C5A2398415F8E58C4A77C63CEBC"><table class="uk-table uk-table-small uk-table-divider uk-table-hover mv-border-slate mv-table-heading-slate mv-table-border uk-table-striped"><thead><tr><th>Material Type</th><th>Examples</th><th>Reuse</th><th>Recycling</th></tr></thead><tbody><tr><td>Appliances</td><td>Fridges, stoves, washers, dryers</td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i></td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i></td></tr><tr><td>Architectural details</td><td>Columns, fireplace mantels, mouldings​</td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i></td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i></td></tr><tr><td>Bricks/ blocks</td><td>Clay bricks, concrete precast, aerated blocks, stones block</td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i></td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i></td></tr><tr><td>Carpet</td><td>Carpet, areas rugs, carpet underlap</td><td></td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i></td></tr><tr><td>Concrete/ Asphalt/ Aggregates</td><td>Structural concrete, cinder blocks, asphalt pavement, bricks, washout from mixer trucks</td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i><br>Crush on site and use as fill material</td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i></td></tr><tr><td>Drywall</td><td>New gypsum wallboard off cuts Asbestos-free used gypsum wallboard</td><td></td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i></td></tr><tr><td>Electrical Equipment</td><td>Circuit breakers, breaker boxes, switches</td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i></td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i></td></tr><tr><td>Finished goods</td><td>Doors, windows, cabinets, counter tops</td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i></td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i></td></tr><tr><td>Gates and Railings</td><td>Security gates, decorative gates, hand rails</td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i></td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i></td></tr><tr><td>Glass</td><td>Windows, structural glass, mirrors</td><td></td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i></td></tr><tr><td>Heating/ Cooling</td><td>HVAC ducts, furnaces, boilers, AC units</td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i></td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i></td></tr><tr><td>Lighting</td><td>Light fixtures, tracks</td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i></td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i></td></tr><tr><td>Metals</td><td>Piping, aluminum siding, banding, wire, cable, rebar, window frames, metal cabinets and shelves</td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i></td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i></td></tr><tr><td>Wood</td><td>Forming lumber, dimensional lumber, painted wood, composite, pallets, flooring</td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i></td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i></td></tr><tr><td>Paper</td><td>Cardboard from packaging, office paper, newspaper</td><td></td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i></td></tr><tr><td>Plastics</td><td>Empty pails and containers, plastic film, pipes</td><td></td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i></td></tr><tr><td>Plumbing</td><td>Plumbing fixtures, Sinks, facets, tubs, shower stalls</td><td></td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i></td></tr><tr><td>Land clearing debris</td><td>Stumps, branches, yard waste</td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i><br>Can be chipped on site and used as mulch</td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i></td></tr><tr><td>Existing vegetation</td><td>Shrubs, small trees, plants and sod</td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i><br>Replant</td><td><i class="fa-light fa-check"></i></td></tr></tbody></table>​​​ ​<span id="ms-rterangecursor-start"></span><span id="ms-rterangecursor-end"></span><br></div>


Alternatives to demolition

There are several alternatives to demolition including adaptive reuse and house moving, deconstruction, salvage, and reuse of building materials.

Adaptive reuse and hous​e moving

Adaptive reuse and house moving involves taking a house or building from the original location and moving it intact to a new location, where it can be used for the same or a different purpose than it was designed for. House moving helps preserve historical architecture, reduce waste, offset consumption of raw materials required for new construction and create lower cost housing opportunities when the homes are relocated. ​​



A House on the MoveA House on the Move871186274


With deconstruction, buildings are systematically taken apart, typically by hand. This method keeps building materials intact and separated, making them easier to reuse and recycle. Experience in Metro Vancouver and other regions is that deconstruction can keep at least 80% of building materials out of the landfill.

Municipal demolition bylaws and permits

Metro Vancouver municipalities each have their own set of bylaws and procedures that govern construction and demolition activities, including salvage and recycling requirements in some municipalities. See below for the permit application process and recycling requirements for your area.

Municipalities with demolition recycling requirements:​​

Try the Residential Demolition Waste Reduction Calculator

Construction and demolition permitting requirements for other municipalities:​​​



Deconstruction TrainingDeconstruction Training216944216
Construction, Renovation, and Demolition (CRD) WasteConstruction, Renovation, and Demolition (CRD) Waste307605092

 Related links



Residential Demolition Waste Generation Rates Calculator, Residential Demolition Waste Generation Rates CalculatorResidential Demolition Waste Generation Rates Calculator
Disposal Ban Program, Disposal Ban ProgramDisposal Ban Program
Hazardous Wastes, Hazardous WastesHazardous Wastes




Licensed Material Recovery Facilities and Transfer Stations diversion rates for construction and demolition material recovered and diverted from disposal, Licensed Material Recovery Facilities and Transfer Stations diversion rates for construction and demolition material recovered and diverted from disposalLicensed Material Recovery Facilities and Transfer Stations diversion rates for construction and demolition material recovered and diverted from disposal
Used gypsum disposal and new gypsum recycling programs - For household quantities only., Used gypsum disposal and new gypsum recycling programs - For household quantities only.Used gypsum disposal and new gypsum recycling programs - For household quantities only.
GIS Map of the Regional Solid Waste System and Solid Waste Licensed Facilities, GIS Map of the Regional Solid Waste System and Solid Waste Licensed FacilitiesGIS Map of the Regional Solid Waste System and Solid Waste Licensed Facilities
Clean Wood Disposal Ban Rack Card, Clean Wood Disposal Ban Rack CardClean Wood Disposal Ban Rack Card
Construction and Demolition Waste Management Toolkit, Construction and Demolition Waste Management ToolkitConstruction and Demolition Waste Management Toolkit

By continuing to use our website, you acknowledge the use of cookies. Privacy Statement | Accept all cookies | Change settings