Throughout the Midwest, construction and demolition (C&D) waste is one of the largest components of the waste stream (sometimes up to 35%), despite the fact that this material can often be reused or recycled with minimal processing. This material includes bricks, concrete, wood, plaster, drywall, masonry, architectural elements, roof coverings plumbing fixtures, and piping. The landfilling of this material represents a missed opportunity for economic and environmental benefits.

With funding awarded by U.S. EPA Region 5, Land and Chemical Division Sustainable Materials Management, Delta Institute will demystify potential Midwestern end markets for C&D waste with the aim of improving awareness of the local economic opportunity that could be realized through increased recycling and reuse of building material.

For this project, Delta will partner with the Building Material Reuse Association to synthesize research and information that can help state and local government promote economic opportunity through material reuse and recycling.

This research will  provide clarity in the marketplace to enable both public and private sector actors to make strategic choices that could result in:

  • improved environmental quality
  • jobs in the harvesting, sales, and reuse of materials

“How we manage our waste says a lot about how sustainable we are as a city and as a region,” said Bill Schleizer, Delta Institute CEO. “Unfortunately, we too often throw away material that represents opportunity for Midwestern cities. In order to change these systemic behaviors, we need to get clarity around the value of our “waste” material and its potential to deliver economic, environmental, and community benefits for our cities.”

For volunteer and collaboration opportunities, along with any questions about the project, please contact Megan Walton at

Delta Institute collaborates with communities to solve complex environmental challenges throughout the Midwest. This project builds on prior waste system and marketplace research conducted by Delta, find our resources for sustainable waste management at the following link, or on our website under tools:

Support Us

Create a thriving Midwest for tomorrow by supporting Delta today.