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Cities Wipe Out Demolition Waste

Rich Heap, Community Editor, Future Cities
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 08:00 EDT

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stotheco
stotheco  
11/5/2013 11:50:06 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: When there's no demolition
The green part in me tends to agree (not that kind of green), but this seems to be a bit of a gray area, isn't it?

CitySolver
CitySolver  
11/2/2013 2:01:24 PM
User Rank Blogger
waste
I agree with Hazel about the word Retrieve but its about retreiving the raw materials from the used product I think. Rather than retrieving the stuff per se. Anyway one problem with recycling things like concrete for instance (which btw is one of the worst polluters in the building industry) is that Reinforced concrete has steel bars running through it. As an architecture graduate I have always been interested in how we can build buildings to come apart like lego. If we can produce Reinforced concrete that uses tensile bars that are not attached to the concrete but instead are fed through pre drilled holes, and finally tensioned at each end (like a suspension bridge), we could then unbolt the arious components and have pure concrete to recycle and pure steel to melt down or better still retension in another building without reprocessing. I know this is very specific as an example but we need to get to grips with buildign tech if we are. Wet construction is inherently wastelful so the German 'Huf Hause' idea of just bolting a building together. 

Hazel
Hazel  
11/1/2013 11:30:59 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: When there's no demolition
Lol, Rich, I think "retrieving" is just a nice word for "stealing." These sorts of "retrievals" are so common where I'm from. You just see people dismantling and taking stuff after work hours. 

richheap
richheap  
11/1/2013 6:46:31 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: When there's no demolition
Indeed Nicole. "Retrieving" sounds like it's theirs, they left it there, and they're going to pick it up. You "retrieve" a coat you've left in a cloakroom. You don't "retrieve" a coat you you see lying around and think you could make some cash by selling it on.

But let's not get too far into the semantics.

richheap
richheap  
11/1/2013 6:37:31 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: An Overlooked Source of Waste
Well, my old flat had asbestos in the ceiling Artex, but it wasn't a problem as long as we didn't disturb it. Presumably it's the same with lead-based paint? I'm sure you did endless research on the risks so I won't bother doing research and telling you stuff you know.

As for disposal, I think it just goes into landfill with the other demolition waste. I don't see what benefit there would be of removing the paint and exposing yourself to dust during that process, so I think it just goes in with the general waste. Presumably, as the size of a layer of paint is tiny on a demolished wall is tiny compared to the thickness of that wall, then it shouldn't be too much of a contaminant. Perhaps others here know more than I do?

PeterJ
PeterJ  
10/31/2013 2:41:13 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: An Overlooked Source of Waste
Yes, Amy. I remember now from my earlier post that molding/vintage materials were a hot commodity in the Boston area. The show I had watched was a restoration project in the Cambridge area, and from exterior paint to original accoutrements they were seeking origina-era materials.

Amy Rogers Nazarov
Amy Rogers Nazarov  
10/31/2013 1:36:48 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: When there's no demolition
Yes, but it's "green" thievery, so it's okay.

Amy Rogers Nazarov
Amy Rogers Nazarov  
10/31/2013 1:25:43 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: An Overlooked Source of Waste
Well, speaking of lead, as a new mom I was driven rather crazy with fear by reports of LEAD PAINT CHIPS in my century-old home, and how toxic such things are to babies. When an old building goes down, isn't that no-longer-used paint or its residue compromising the environment somehow? I am guessing the air around demo sites is a horror show no matter what.

Conversely, in a city as old as London, there must be tons of salvageable materials and items - crown molding or something like that - whose being kept from the landfil and being upcycled into a new home must have some quantifiable merit. 

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
10/31/2013 12:35:48 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: When there's no demolition
Ha, yes, well, I suppose that's what they meant by "retrieving," so -- indeed -- good point.

richheap
richheap  
10/31/2013 10:25:57 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: When there's no demolition
@Nicole: So by "retrieving scrap metal... [not] in any legal way" you mean stealing, right? I'm sure plenty of people can make decent money from stealing stuff!

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