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Preparing for a home demolition

How Do You Get Rid of Demolition Debris?

Demolition projects equal large quantities of mess. As a significant part of preparing for home demolition, you should have a clear answer to this question: how do you get rid of demolition debris? What’s the best way and how much will it cost?

We will show you a lowdown for everything you need to know about dealing with demolition debris from your project site—whether you are recycling, reselling, repurposing, or sending to a landfill.

Related: Why You Should Recycle Your Demolition Debris

The choice you make will depend largely on what kind of debris will be present, your budget, your access to the site and the site of the landfill, and the total amount of waste you need to get rid of.

How Do You Remove Waste From a Building?

Construction debris removal is a crucial part of a successful demolition project. Most, if not all clients, will applaud the work of a demolition company if they leave the project site better and cleaner than when they found it.

Removing waste from a building

Preparing for a home demolition includes waste management that involves how to deal with demolition debris.

Debris varies in composition, but the major components, by weight, in the US include concrete, wood products, asphalt shingles, brick and clay tile, steel, and drywall.

Here are the common ways demolition debris are dealt with when removing demolition debris in residential demolitions:

1. Removing Asbestos

Asbestos can only be removed by a licensed and trained professional because of the risks. It’s considered a hazardous material that must be disposed of separately, according to federal regulation. If there is asbestos in your home construction, the demolition contractor should know the licensed asbestos disposal site where it will be taken after it is removed during the demolition.

2. Use Skips

Skips are the most obvious and convenient way of getting rid of demolition debris. They come in varied sizes, get dropped off and picked up for you, and can be packed to fit in a good amount of demolition site waste.

You can have it collected by a private company or by the local authority. Most demolition companies provide their own skips for a total demolition debris clean-up.

If you have enough space on your driveway that can accommodate the skips then that will be great. If you have no room, you will have to arrange with local authorities if you will place the skip by the roadside to wait while the demolition company loads it with debris.

Tackle note of these types of debris that you can’t put on a skip:

  • Asbestos
  • Tires
  • Refrigerators and freezers
  • Liquids like paints, oils, or solvents
  • Televisions
  • Light bulbs
  • Chemicals
  • Plasterboard

3. Disposal Options of the Different Types of Debris

As you think through your demolition debris materials, a suitable waste management plan will include specific ways you would dispose of the different types of debris from the demolition project.

Here are useful suggestions on how you can manage the different types of demolition debris:


Like asphalt, concrete is very heavy and dense debris that is best disposed of in a roll-off dumpster. They are usually separated from other wastes and must be loaded in a smaller container. This will ensure that it does not become too heavy of a load for the roll-off truck to handle.

Concrete debris from demolition

Some concrete debris can be recycled by crushing it into rubble.

Once sorted and screened, contaminants are removed, and the concrete can be used in concrete aggregate, fill, road base, or rip rap.

Mobile concrete crushers also allow for the recycling of concrete on the demolition site.

Roofing Shingles

Another type of heavy debris is generally loaded in its own dumpster and not in mixed loads. You can also choose to recycle shingles.


If wood is salvaged properly during a demolition project, it has great potential to be reused. Reclaiming wood and selling or donating are additional options on how you can dispose of wood from demolitions.


If the carpeting cannot be reused, the most convenient way to dispose of carpeting is by a junk removal company. You also have options of renting a dumpster or having your waste hauler pick it up.

Wood or Laminate Flooring

There are many ways to salvage wood or laminate flooring that will help you cut down on disposal costs. If reclaiming can’t be an option, hire a junk removal company to pick it up.


Post a listing so you can get rid of cedar or wood siding which is highly desirable by most people. Vinyl siding is typically disposed of in a dumpster or picked up by a junk removal company.

But, for whole-house siding debris, a dumpster is generally the more cost-effective option.


There are different types of metals that can come from demolition projects. These metals include bulk amounts of steel, aluminum, copper, and other metals. Because these metals are generally a valuable commodity, you can eliminate disposal costs and earn a few bucks by dropping off metal scraps at a local scrapyard.

Yard Debris Removal

Generally, yard waste is not mixed with the other types of materials from a demolition.

How do you get rid of tree debris? Apart from tree debris in the yard, you will also have to deal with bush trimmings and grass clippings. Because these are considered organic waste, they are best disposed of by composting.

However, if that is not considered in your situation, dumpsters and junk removal companies are good options, too. They will usually drop off yard waste at a proper composting facility. Large logs are best handled by professionals who have the right equipment to safely load and haul them away to the proper site.

Sustainable Management of Demolition Debris

The United States Environmental Protection Agency promotes a sustainable materials management approach that identifies certain construction and demolition materials as commodities that can be used in new building projects.

They highly recommend reducing, reusing, recycling, and rebuying demolition debris as a significant part of preparing for home demolition. These are effective methods to save money while protecting natural resources.

More from Big Easy Demolition

Can You Demolish a Mortgaged House?
Why You Should Repurpose Your Concrete
How Much Will It Cost to Tear Down A House?

Big Easy Demolition is a licensed and insured company providing demolition services for both home and business.

We proudly serve the areas of Metairie, Slidell, New Orleans, Kenner, Laplace, and all throughout the Greater New Orleans area.

Contact us today for more information.

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