Construction and Demolition Debris

Information presented in this publication is intended to provide an understanding of the statutory and regulatory requirements governing construction and demolition debris. This information is not intended to replace, limit or expand upon the complete statutory and regulatory requirements found in the Illinois Environmental Protection Act and Title 35 of the Illinois Administrative Code.

What is general construction and demolition debris?

Construction and demolition (C&D) debris is nonhazardous, uncontaminated material resulting from construction, remodeling, repair, or demolition of utilities, structures, and roads.  House constructionThese materials include the following:

  • Bricks, concrete, and other masonry materials
  • Soil (mixed with other C&D debris)
  • Rock
  • Wood, including nonhazardous painted, treated, and coated wood and wood products
  • Wall coverings
  • Plaster
  • Drywall
  • Plumbing fixtures
  • Non-asbestos insulation
  • Roofing shingles and other roof coverings
  • Reclaimed asphalt pavement
  • Glass
  • Plastics that do not conceal waste
  • Electrical wiring and components that do not contain hazardous substances
  • Piping
  • Metal materials incidental to any of the materials above

What is clean C&D debris (CCDD)?

Clean C&D debris includes the following uncontaminated materials:

  • Broken concrete without protruding metal bars
  • Bricks
  • Rock
  • Stone
  • Reclaimed asphalt pavement;
  • Uncontaminated soil (mixed with other clean C&D debris) generated from construction or demolition activities

Since 2005, there have been several changes to the roles concerning CCDD, which are spelled out on the  Changes to Clean Construction or Demolition Debris (CCDD) Requirements page.

Why is C&D debris a problem?

Landfills are filling up with C&D and other wastes, and some landfills will close in the near future; therefore, it is wise to find other alternatives other than landfilling C&D debris. In addition, illegal dumping of C&D debris can result in future health risks, decreased property values, and cleanup costs. Proper management and reduction of the amount of C&D waste you generate can save money, conserve resources, and preserve the environment.

How do I manage Asbestos?

Asbestos waste must be disposed of in an approved landfill. For more information see the "How Do I Manage Asbestos" fact sheets and contact the Office of Small Business for additional information on proper asbestos disposal procedures.

How can I manage C&D debris?

The diagram below presents options for managing C&D debris. When making a decision on how to manage your C&D debris, the first option to consider is reduction and the last option to consider is landfilling. Each of these options is discussed below.

pyramid.gif (1015 bytes) recycle.gif (889 bytes)

How do I reduce the amount of C&D debris I generate?

Jackhammer Although it can be difficult, you can reduce the amount of C&D debris you generate by carefully estimating the amount of raw materials needed for construction activities at your site and making sure that the correct amount of materials are brought to the site. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA) "Construction and Demolition Site Recycling Guidebook" (Guidebook) and "Construction and Demolition Site Recycling Directory" (Directory) provide guidance on and resources for C&D debris reduction, reuse, and recycling.

How do I reuse my CCDD debris?

Man carrying board Clean C&D debris can be used as below-grade fill material outside of a setback zone if (1) covered by sufficient uncontaminated soil to support vegetation within 30 days after completion of filling or (2) covered by a road or structure. Also, broken concrete without protruding metal bars can be used for erosion control. In addition, demolition materials such as doors, bricks, appliances, and fixtures can be reused.

Certain construction or demolition materials can be separated and salvaged prior to disposal. These materials can be reused on another project or made available to others for reuse. This must be done in a reasonable amount of time before the material is considered abandoned and the activity is considered disposal.

How do I recycle my C&D debris?

Recycling C&D debris can save you money and reduce the amount of waste disposed of in landfills. You can recycle wood, aluminum and other metals, asphalt, concrete, and corrugated cardboard. Three recycling methods available to demolition contractors include the following:

  • Mixed material collection - Recyclable materials are transported from the job site, sorted at a designated facility, and sent to processors for recycling.
  • Source separation - Similar materials are separated from other wastes at the job site by category (such as wood, metal, and concrete) and sent to processors for recycling.
  • On-site processing - Recyclable materials are processed on site and made ready for reuse.

With few exceptions, off-site processing facilities must have a permit from the Illinois EPA. The DCCA Guidebook and Directory provide specific guidance on and resources for C&D debris recycling.

How do I landfill my C&D debris?

Bricklayer C&D debris can be transported to a permitted facility by any hauler. The hauler is not required to have a special waste haulers permit. You should first call the disposal facility to determine if it accepts C&D debris.

If you have lead-based paint that was removed from non-household waste (for example, paint that was removed from the substrate), the paint waste must be tested by a laboratory using the toxicity characteristic leachate procedure (TCLP) before landfilling. Currently this waste must be managed as a special waste. For more information on special wastes see the Office of Small Business fact sheet "Do I Have a Special Waste." However, management standards for lead-based paint C&D debris may change in the near future with regard to requirements for lead-testing procedures and disposal methods. Call the Office of Small Business for additional information on lead-based paint waste disposal procedures.

How do I obtain more information?

For information on regulatory issues related to C&D debris, call the Illinois EPA Office of Small Business Helpline at (888) EPA-1996 or the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Small Business Environmental Assistance Helpline at (800) 252-3998. All calls are considered confidential and the caller can remain anonymous.

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