CONNstruction - Winter 2008 - (Page 24)

feature By Stephen Murdoch Reducing our Environmental Footprint When a structure is being demolished, what happens to all of the materials? Each year, thousands of structures are demolished and the unwanted materials are sent off to landfills. Unwanted construction and demolition debris is piling up in landfills across the country. In response to this, industry stakeholders are looking at ways to reduce, reuse and recycle materials that remain after a construction or renovation project. Nowhere is this movement more evident than in Connecticut and New England. Mark Lennon, co-founder of The Institution Recycling Network (IRN), a cooperative that improves financial and operating results in recycling and waste minimization for public and private organizations, understands the value of reducing our environmental impact. Once a structure is slated for demolition, Lennon and his team make it their business to save as much of its contents and materials as possible from ending up in a landfill. Whether it’s computers or cardboard, fluorescent lamps or surplus furniture or construction waste, IRN is committed to diverting waste from disposal. independent schools, hospitals, private corporations and other organizations from five New England states, New York and across the country. Since opening their doors, IRN has recycled close to 100 different materials, and they’re particularly well known for their work in construction and demolition recycling. As a one-stop-shop for recycling so many materials, Lennon knows firsthand the current trends in construction recycling and reuse. “The current economy is likely to have much more impact on construction in general than on sustainable construc- “When all is said and done, reusing and recycling of construction wastes makes total sense, especially here in the Northeast. The environmental, economic, and social benefits are practically endless.” – Mark Lennon, co-founder, The Institution Recycling Network Who is IRN? Established in 1999, IRN is a cooperative, member-led organization that has grown by leaps and bounds. IRN was founded on the recognition that most organizations can improve their recycling performance, both operationally and financially, by taking advantage of cooperative marketing and purchasing opportunities. IRN’s members and clients include colleges and universities, tion, and recycling specifically,” Lennon says. “Sustainable construction is where the industry is headed. Uncertainty over the future of the economy will drive out the most speculative projects, those driven by desire for short-term profit, and not those constructed for long-term returns. Throughout the country, and certainly in Connecticut and the Northeast, reuse and recycling are much less expensive than throwing construction waste away. So not only are there social, environmental and sustainability benefits in recycling, there are economic benefits as well.” 24 / CONNstruction / Winter 2008

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CONNstruction - Winter 2008

CONNstruction - Winter 2008
The Next Phase of Contracting Reform
A Return to Trust – Partnering
Building Our Future and Theirs
New “Green Buildings” Law Presents Opportunities and Challenges
Internet Searches and Job Applicants
First Impressions
ConnDOT Hosts the Nation’s Transportation Officials
Reducing our Environmental Footprint
Connecticut Apprenticeship Program Handles Industry Changes and Demands for New Workers
2008 Construction Career Days Program
Contractors Must Become More Diligent During Workers’ Compensation Rate Decline
UCAC General Membership Meeting/Lifetime Achievement Award
John “Jack” Costello Memorial Scholarship
Marvin Morganbesser’s Retirement Dinner
Index to Advertisers

CONNstruction - Winter 2008