Vancouver Bylaw the Future for Green Demolition
Since 2014, the City of Vancouver has implemented a bylaw requiring materials from buildings constructed prior to 1940 to be recycled. Of these buildings, 75% of materials by weight, excluding hazardous waste must be recycled and 90% for those deemed character houses.
These requirements aim to increase reuse and recycling of demolition materials; reduce the amount of demolition waste disposed to landfill and incinerator; and encourage preservation and renewal of character homes in Vancouver. It was based off of similar practices used in California.
While the bylaw has seen materials diverted from the landfill, demolition contractors can still use an excavator to demolish a house and then sort the materials such as metals, wood and concrete to be sent to recyclers. However, the end goal the City is hoping for is more salvaging of materials from homes.
Habitat for Humanity is providing an outlet through its B.C. ReStores which take construction materials, furniture and donations from hardware and other retail outlets. It also has a deconstruction team in place in the Lower Mainland to salvage materials.
The bylaw has the potential to act as a model for other Canadian cities to follow suit as well as inspire innovation on the front of material salvation and recycling.
For more information please refer to the following links:
City of Vancouver demolition and permit with recycling requirements
Vancouver Green Capital Green Salvation and Recycling Guide
Material for this article was taken from the Journal of Commerce. Read the full story here.