How Much Waste Does a Renovation Create?
In 2020, the U.S. home remodeling market surpassed a massive $340 billion and is predicted to continue rising at a compound annual growth rate of over 4.1% between 2021 and 2027, according to Global Market Insights.
The problem is home renovations produce a significant amount of waste. In fact, renovations can generate approximately 60 pounds of waste per square foot on average.
With this expected growth in the remodeling market, contractors will need to find new ways to repurpose renovation waste that would otherwise end up in landfill.
In this graphic by Northstar Clean Technologies, we show how much waste can be generated as a result of construction and demolition debris during renovations and how it can be reduced.
Construction and Demolition Waste
Construction and demolition (C&D) debris is estimated to make up nearly one-quarter of the total waste generated in the U.S. in a single year.
Let’s take a look at the breakdown of total construction and demolition debris recorded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2018.
|Waste During Construction |
|Demolition Debris |
|Total C&D Debris |
|Drywall and Plasters||3.9||11.3||15.2|
|Brick and Clay Tile||0.3||12.0||12.3|
In 2018, an estimated 600 million tons of C&D debris was generated in the U.S alone. With the remodeling market growing, this number will only continue to rise—and materials contributing to renovation waste can range from concrete to wood and plasters.
Asphalt shingles are among the seven largest contributors to C&D debris, a material that can be found on approximately 75% of homes in the U.S. and Canada.
During a common renovation process, such as re-roofing, the average U.S. home can generate around 3-4 tonnes of tear-off waste.
Technologies Repurposing Waste
More than 90% of used asphalt shingles, equivalent to around 12 million tons, are dumped into landfills in the U.S every year. With oil as its primary component, asphalt shingles are especially harmful to the environment when discarded.
The environmental impact of discarded renovation materials can be avoided through technologies that repurpose these materials such as asphalt shingles.
Northstar Clean Technologies recovers and reprocesses the three primary components of asphalt shingles. The outputs are then sold back into the market as repurposed materials such as liquid asphalt, aggregates, and fiber for use in road construction, embankments, and new shingles.