Demystifying Midwestern Building Material Markets for Reuse and Revenue

Brief Overview of What We’re Doing

Delta Institute’s Demystifying Waste report provides data to the private and public sector to decrease the disposal rate of reusable materials—and save these valuable supplies from landfills—and increase the capacity of local and state governments to adopt policies encouraging building material reuse and recycling with the recognition of local economic benefits.

Construction and demolition (C&D) waste comprises a significant portion of the waste stream in the Upper Midwest. C&D material represents economic opportunity when it is able to enter the market as raw material, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that recycling C&D material generates creates more jobs, wages, and taxes than any other material stream.

With support from the EPA, Delta Institute, in collaboration with the Building Material Reuse Association, has worked to identify end markets for reusable and recyclable building materials in the Upper Midwest (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin); provide an estimate of the volume of material that can be managed; and provide an estimate of economic opportunity afforded by the potential markets using economic indicators (e.g. jobs, wages).

Expanding and supporting building-material markets is essential to create policies and procedures in both the private and public sectors to divert thousands of tons of waste from landfills annually, while re-investing these materials through revenue-generating reuse.

A core part of Delta’s long-term programmatic efforts is the exploration around waste reuse, reduction, and reclamation. Please review our many projects related to both Deconstruction and Waste Reduction, as well as our related municipal- and public agency- planning.


This report was made possible through a cooperative agreement with the EPA in accordance with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act to provide data, information and technical assistance to local governments on the management and recovery of construction and demolition materials.

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