Optimizing Recycled Content in Building Materials
StopWaste partnered with Healthy Building Network and the San Francisco Department of the Environment to investigate ways to enhance the quality of post-consumer recycled-content raw materials (or “feedstock”) used in the manufacturing of building products. A series of reports summarize our findings and recommendations for optimizing recycled-content feedstocks in order to increase product value, marketability and safety. Audiences for the reports are product manufacturers, major purchasers of building products, government agencies, and the recycling industry.
Global industry has made progress toward a world in which more efficient use of resources, including recycling, helps to reduce impacts on the natural systems that support life. However, contamination of recycled-content raw material with potentially toxic substances reduces feedstock value, impedes growth of recycling rates, and can endanger human and environmental health. This paper provides findings and recommendations about how progress in resource use efficiency and recycling can occur along with the production of healthier building products. This paper is based on the review of eleven common recycled-content feedstocks used to manufacture building materials that are sold in California’s San Francisco Bay Area. It provides manufacturers and purchasers of building products, government agencies, and the recycling industry with recommendations for optimizing recycled-content feedstocks in building products to increase their value, marketability and safety.