Construction & Demolition Recycling


Construction and demolition waste is generated by new construction activities, expansion of existing structures, and/or demolition of existing structures.

Landfill space is an important and expensive resource that can be conserved by recycling construction and demolition (C&D) materials. C&D recycling saves landfill space and often saves you money!

In an effort to divert C&D debris generated at local projects, the City requires applicants for demolition and building permits to divert at least 75% of the waste generated on site. The debris must be brought to a recycling or salvage facility, reused on site, or donated to others. The City of La Mesa will collect a deposit based on the square footage and type of project that is planned. A full refund will be provided if 75% of the C&D debris is diverted from landfills.

Check out the video below for an overview of C&D deposit, material tracking, and refund process.

  Common Construction & Demolition Materials

  • Cardboard
  • Carpet
  • Dirt
  • Drywall
  • Green Waste related to land development
  • Lumber
  • Masonry (brick, concrete, etc.)
  • Metals
  • Paper
  • Pipe (plastic, metal, clay)
  • Plastic
  • Rocks 

Salvage and Deconstruction

Did you know that up to 85 percent of a building’s materials can often be salvaged or reused? Deconstruction, in contrast to demolition, uses a mix of machines and hand-dismantling to recover materials – such as appliances, windows, doors, and plumbing – for reuse.  By keeping these items intact and salvaging them for reuse, homeowners and contractors can divert materials from the landfill and save thousands of dollars on landfill fees. If items are donated to a non-profit, there’s potential for even more savings!

How does it work? When starting a project, homeowners and contractors can work with a licensed deconstruction contractor to complete an assessment and identify materials suitable for salvage. The deconstruction contractor will then carefully dismantle the home and salvage any valuable items. Depending on how the building was built and how materials were secured will determine the systematic disassembly of the building and the cost-effectiveness of the deconstruction process. 

As you plan a home or business renovation, consider the social, environmental and financial advantages of deconstructing over demolishing. 

Four reasons you should consider deconstruction: 

  • Tax donations are available for usable building materials donated to nonprofits organizations.
  • Most used building materials have value – don’t let it go to waste!
  • Landfill space is decreasing and disposal costs are rising. 
  • Deconstruction gives families, businesses and communities the opportunity to acquire materials inexpensively.

Related Documents

Related Sites-

Building Materials Reuse Association

San Diego Habitat for Humanity

The Reuse People (TRP)