Hometalk.com’s Survey Reveals Growth in Use of Recycled Building Materials

Every spring, more and more people start home improvement projects. Good news for the Earth: This spring, many of those people will be building with recycled building materials.

In a recent poll by Hometalk.com, 91% of respondents said that they had either used recycled building materials this year, or were planning to. You can see the growth in use of recycled building materials in these numbers:

  • Consumption of composite lumber made from recycled plastics increased by 58% in recent years, according to Recycling Today.
  • The primary market for recycled plastics is the composite lumber industry, according to The American Chemistry Council.
  • According to the American Iron and Steel Institute, 88% of today's structural steel is made from recycled materials.
  • The Harvard Graduate School of Design reports a sharp increase in the use of sustainable roofing materials.

While recycled lumber and composite decking lead the pack in popularity, other recycled building materials are seeing an increase in consumer demand. For instance, Hometalk.com member Brooks Custom, a fabricator of unique upscale counter tops, has expanded his line of counter tops to include recycled woods, metals, and concretes in order to meet customer demand for these materials.

"At Brooks we are experiencing an increased demand for Antique Chestnut and Southern Yellow Heart Pine from barn beams. These woods are very attractive and include lots of distress marks and imperfections. Our stainless steel countertops look crisp and new but steel is one of the most recycled metals in the world. Over 80% of waste steel is recycled and turned into new products, including countertops. Glass is another highly-recyclable material that has gained popularity, and we've seen an uptick in glass specialty tops," said Todd Costello of Brooks Custom.

"Many of the most popular projects on Hometalk.com are projects that incorporate recycled building materials. People seem to get extra enjoyment out of remodeling and building with these materials. I expect to see even more Hometalk.com members posting projects that involve recycled building materials as the spring remodeling season heats up," said Miriam Illions , Director of Community Development at Hometalk.com.

Paul Hamtil of Hamtil Construction, a contractor in St. Louis, said, "As a rule, I know that most of our clients do care that we send as much demo material as possible to be salvaged, donated, or recycled. At the end of the day, whether using or donating recycled material, it brings a new level of satisfaction to the process of remodeling."

Source: http://www.hometalk.com

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