Posts Tagged ‘recycling’

RCI’s Executive Director has the “Last Word” — The importance of third-party certification in C&D recycling

Posted on February 21, 2014

RCI Executive Director Stephen M Bantillo has the “Last Word”.  In an article featured in the January/February 2014 Digital Edition of Recycling Product News, Bantillo explains the importance of third-party certification of C&D facilities.  Good things happen when industry, government, and USGBC come together.  Read it at Recycling Product News or download it here (posted with permission of Recycling Product News).


Posted on December 3, 2013

After extensive review and discussion, USGBC members have approved major changes in LEED v4, which includes a focus on performance in the Materials & Resources category.  Are you ready?  

Key Changes in LEED v4….

Alternative Daily Cover:

Projects will still receive 1 and 2 points for 50% and 75% diversion from landfill; however, Alternative Daily Cover has been specifically excluded from diversion from landfill calculations.

Pilot 3rd Point:

An additional point from the LEED Pilot Credit Library may be awarded to projects using a C&D recycling facility whose recycling rates have been verified by an authorized third-party.  This pilot point is currently in-progress with USGBC.  If approved, the Pilot Credit is anticipated to be available with the next published Pilot Credit Addenda.

Why is Third-Party Certification Important?

With LEED v4’s emphasis on performance it is important that recycling rates claimed by C&D recycling facilities are accurate and verified.  In addition to the Pilot 3rd Point under LEED v4, government agencies across the nation are implementing C&D recycling programs and many require accurate reporting of recycling rates.

RCI’s CORR program provides credible, ISO-level third-party certification of C&D facilities’ recycling rates and we look forward to USGBC’s implementation of the Pilot 3rd Point.

Preckwinkle announces online software ‘Green Halo’ simplifies recycling projects

Posted on July 15, 2013

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced today that an online software system called Green Halo has helped contractors recycle thousands of tons of construction debris and stay in compliance with the County’s new Demolition Debris Diversion ordinance, announced President Preckwinkle’s Cook County office.

The ecofriendly ordinance passed in February requires that at least 70 percent of C&D (Construction and Demolition) debris must be recycled, and an additional 5 percent of it must be reused on residential structures. To help make sure this Ordinance is implemented smoothly and to make the process easier for both parties, Cook County will be using Green Halo’s online Waste Tracking System to monitor and track C&D Projects and make sure that Recycling Requirements are met.

The County has made the Green Halo system available to contractors for free to simplify the way they track waste and recycling from demolition and construction projects. It also helps ensure recycling requirements are met.

Since November, the software has tracked more than 25.7 thousand tons of demolition waste that has been recycled or reused. It also locates the nearest recycling facilities, uploads recycling drop-off tickets and submits reports directly to the County. Contract administrator Tracy Alvord of Brandenburg Industrial Service Company said Green Halo system is “easy to follow” and can find nearby recycling facilities that accept hard-to-recycle materials such as carpeting.

“I’m proud Cook County is the first local government in the Midwest to use this business-friendly reporting system,” President Preckwinkle said. “We are saving time and money for contractors by switching to an electronic reporting system that’s easy and efficient.” Since November, approximately 62 contractors have used Green Halo to enter a waste diversion plan, which takes an average of only five to ten minutes to input. “Green Halo has eliminated hundreds of pounds of paper previously used by contractors and the County, saving money, trees, energy and time,” said Deborah Stone, director of the Cook County Department of Environmental Control. “And the easy access to reports means we are accountable for making sure there are real environmental benefits from our programs.”

Cook County is also the first local government in the Midwest to require the reuse of material as part of its ordinance. As a result of the ordinance, contractors have been able to glean high value lumber for reuse as structural beams in new houses, along with brick, doors and windows, kitchen and bathroom fixtures.

The groundbreaking demolition ordinance enacted last November is part of President Preckwinkle’s Sustainability Initiative, with the goals of reducing energy consumption, decreasing pollution, and creating livable and sustainable communities.

Send John Presta an email and your story ideas or suggestions,

John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African American studies, published by The Elevator Group, Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books. John has volunteered for many political campaigns.

Chicago’s Cook County enacts the Midwest’s first ordinance to cut down C&D Waste

Posted on July 14, 2013

Cook County last month took a big step toward the ambitious zero-waste goal it outlined earlier this year. Leapfrogging Chicago’s standards, Cook County enacted the Midwest’s first demolition debris ordinance that requires reuse. At least 70 percent of construction and demolition debris must be recycled, and an additional 5 percent must be reused on residential structures. This law, which took effect November 21, affects some 2.5 million residents across 30 townships in suburban Cook County. While the City of Chicago mandates that 50 percent of debris be recycled—a 2007 ordinance, which, government officials note, contractors now easily exceed—building debris makes up a staggering 40 percent of landfill material nationwide.

“We’re looking not just at trying to keep materials out of the landfill, but at the fact that a lot of the stuff that goes into a landfill can be valuable,” said Deborah Stone, director at Cook County Department of Environmental Control. She cited the reuse of lumber and finished components as two vital emerging markets in the construction industry.

Many large, sophisticated demolition contractors have already moved toward reuse.

Reaching these smaller contractors, said Bryant Williams, Cook County’s manager of engineering services noted, demands a hands-on effort. Education will be an important part of the ordinance’s success. Outreach includes visiting contractors and working with project managers, and discussing available recycling facilities. An online waste tracking system also helps contractors find the facilities that best meet their needs.

“Even for people who really believe in recycling,” Elise Zelechowski, a managing director at environmental nonprofit Delta Institute said, “it’s hard to change habits.”

In emergencies, two waivers on the ordinance allow contractors to bypass the recycling and reuse requirements.

Additionally, small structures such as sheds are exempt from the law.

Notably, the ordinance applies to Cook County’s own construction and demolition projects. “We’ll have to put our money where our mouth is,” Stone said. The county ran pilot programs in 2011 to train contractors, who deconstructed six suburban houses. “We were able to reuse between 4 and 18 percent of the material,” Stone said. “We were able to recycle or reuse all but about 4 percent.”

But not every contractor believes the new regulations will be a boon to business. During hearings, representatives of the Association of Subcontractors and Affiliates (ASA Chicago) cited labor and permitting costs as obstacles. “We worked with the association before the hearing,” Stone said in response, adding that that cooperative spirit resulted in the adjustment downward of country fees. “We continue to work with their members as well.”

“Ultimately, I’d like to think that we wouldn’t need an ordinance—but I think we do, to kick it off,” Stone said. “Because it’s a permit requirement, every contractor on every structure and every owner that’s demolishing a building in suburban Cook County is going to learn about [recycling and reuse’s] potential—and I think that’s very powerful.

New website readying for launch…

Posted on July 12, 2013

Hello everyone.  You may have noticed our new name: Recycling Certification Institute.  We appreciate your patience as we’ve been making changes.  We’ve been busy updating pages and systems and are anxiously awaiting the launch of our new website.  We look forward to bringing you a new look, content, and functionality, so please check back soon.


The Executive Director

Stay Tuned

Posted on June 12, 2013

We’ll periodically post links and articles related to Sustainable Recycling and environmentally conscious practices in C&D and Engineering.  Subscribe to stay updated as resources, reports and information are updated.