Construction Industry Waste Information

Did you know that material from the construction, demolition and renovation of buildings makes up a third of our region’s waste? This is 1.5 million tonnes each year, of which 75% is currently recycled. Of the remaining portion that ends up in the garbage, more than half of it could have been reused or recycled.

Metro Vancouver’s solid waste management plan aims to increase the recycling rate of the construction, renovation and demolition industry to 80%. Activities that produce the most waste - demolition and disposal of wood materials - are targeted.

The following pie chart shows the composition of demolition, construction, and renovation materials being disposed as garbage. Many of these materials could be recycled.

2015 Demolition, Land-clearing, and Construction Waste Composition pie chart
Source: 2015 Demolition, Land-clearing, and Construction Waste Composition Monitoring Program report

Municipal demolition bylaws and permits

Metro Vancouver municipalities are adapting a sample bylaw that requires mixed or pre-sorted demolition waste to go to licensed solid waste facilities and other accepted destinations. These new recycling requirements will take effect in the coming years. The following municipalities have implemented programs using the building and demolition permits to encourage more salvage and recycling: