Reducing Waste in the Construction Industry: How Nabholz is Doing Our Part

November 15th, 2012 - By

Today is America Recycles Day, and as part of an industry that generates nearly 326 million tons of waste each year, we at Nabholz recognize the importance of recycling every day, on our jobsites and in our offices and facilities. In fact, last year Nabholz was one of only ten firms nationwide to receive Waste Management’s Sustainability Circle of Excellence Award.

Approximately 80% of our jobsites recycle at least one type of material.
On some of our jobsites, as much as 93% of the waste generated is recycled and diverted from landfills. Here are just a few examples of the amounts of waste diverted on current LEED projects:

  • Southwest Power Pool: 229 tons (83%) diverted
  • Fayetteville High School Phase I: 998 tons diverted
  • Fayetteville High School Phase II: 7750 tons diverted
  • NWACC Health Science Building: 216 tons diverted
  • Fayetteville Montessori School: 39 tons diverted

Recycling commercial construction waste requires a considerable amount of effort, but our team is working hard every day to explore and develop new, cost-efficient recycling methods with the hope of soon being able to recycle on all Nabholz jobsites.

Our recycling efforts go beyond our jobsites.
Perhaps the most creative of our recycling programs can be found in our equipment rental maintenance shop in Rogers, AR. An internal Research & Development Grant program motivated employees to find a way to reuse the thousands of gallons of waste oil produced each year by our equipment rental and excavation operations in Northwest Arkansas. Jim Spotts, Manager of Excavation for Midwest Operations, estimated that the equipment his team uses produces 3,500 to 4,000 gallons of waste oil each year. Instead of discarding all of that oil, they decided to put it to good use as heating oil and used the grant funding to purchase and install a Clean Burn heating system in the maintenance shop. Today, approximately 70% of the waste oil produced by those two operations is used to fuel the heat system, and any excess goes to waste oil services that either sell it for use as heating oil or recycle it, converting it into fuel. As an added bonus, that shop neither pays for nor consumes outside sources of fuel for heat.

Our multiple office locations also recycle. Each building has bins for paper, plastic, and aluminum cans. By the end of the year, we hope to have a single bin in each employee’s office that will hold all types of recyclables, eliminating the need to separate them, and making recycling virtually effortless for our employees. We will also begin tracking the amount of our office waste that is recycled and diverted from landfills.

Recycling isn’t always easy–if it was everyone would do it. But for the good of our environment, we all have to do our part. At Nabholz we continually strive to innovate and improve our recycling efforts, and we’re proud to be an industry leader in recycling and sustainable practices.

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