Because it generally costs more to recycle construction waste than to take it to the dump, builders must decide if it’s worth it.

For Chris Batterson, C&D accounts lead at Atlanta-based Rubicon, which provides cloud-based waste and recycling software to various industries, much of what happens to C&D waste comes down to the choices individual builders make.

“Some markets regulate how much waste from C&D work has to be diverted from the landfill, but other places have no regulation and no infrastructure to recycle it,” Batterson says. “Builders who have established sustainability goals and practices try to do the right thing and divert materials. But the ones who choose not to recycle typically just throw it all in one container, and it goes to the landfill.”