County studies how to get most from materials

From refuse to resource, Clallam County builders are trying to transform trash, if not into treasure then into usable building materials.

Construction and demolition materials - lumber, concrete, drywall, glass and roofing - made up 14 percent of the 7,000 tons of refuse sent to the landfill in 2003, according to a study prepared for the county by Green Solutions.

Since the landfill closed in 2006, those materials take a 275-mile journey to a landfill in Boardman, Ore.

Much of this jettisoned material is reusable and recyclable, and Clallam County encourages diverting them for local contractors.

Supported by a grant from the Washington Department of Ecology, the county has contracted with the North Peninsula Building Association and Built Green(r) of Clallam County to explore options for reducing the amount of construction and demolition debris and improving local recycling systems. Project goals include:

_ Identifying existing markets for construction recyclling.

_ Increasing awareness of green building concepts.

_ Encouraging reycling through building code changes and permitting processes.

_ Streamlining sustainable building practices to reduce waste.

Another mission of Built Green(r) of Clallam County is to encourage more environmentally sustainable building practices. The program is conducting a survey so it can create a baseline of information about current construction and demolition waste disposal attitudes and practices. Persons interested in contributing to the project should contact Susan Chad, Built Green Clallam Count coordinator, at 461-4157 or

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