The 3 Rs in
Reduce, reuse, recycle!
The 3 Rs
To lower construction waste and save
money, we can:
Reduce the amount of materials needed
Reuse materials from a building project for
use at other locations, and
Recycle whenever possible.
Benefits of the 3 Rs
Reducing, reusing, and recycling construction
materials provide the following benefits:
Donating or saving materials for reuse is a free
alternative to paying disposal fees
Recycling fees are generally lower than disposal fees
Tax deductions from donating materials to non-
Helping local governments meet their goal of
reducing disposal by 50%
Creating business: New business and product
opportunities associated with recycled materials
add to the growth of our local economy.
Accuracy in estimations reduces excess
construction material and leads to lowered
costs and waste.
Making a slight change to the pitch of a roof
can get your roof plane on a two-foot
module which will minimize sheeting and
Lumber and sheet materials are typically
milled in two-foot increments. Designing your
building using this same module will maximize
the use of materials and minimize waste.
Deeper eaves or overhangs protect siding
and windows from the elements, meaning
they will need repair and replacement less
often. Deeper eaves may also keep your
building cooler in summer by blocking the
The less material you have in a structure, the
less opportunity for waste. Consider open-
frame ceilings, shelves without cabinet
doors, finished floor as subfloor/decking.
Use Advanced Framing, also known as
Optimum Value Engineering (OVE)
Use only what is needed. Don’t use 5 nails
when 2 will do the job just fine.
Measure twice, cut once
Drywall clips: Often times a stud or wood
nailer is added to the corner of a wall or
ceiling assembly to attach drywall. Consider
eliminating this lumber and use drywall clips
Sort materials during and after construction to
look for items that may be reusable.
Excess building materials can be donated to
The ReBuilding Center, a non-profit
organization, for a tax-deductible receipt.
They also offer a free pick-up service for used
building materials. Materials can be
purchased as well.
BoneyardNW is an online marketplace for
purchasing and selling used commercial
PDX Relocate has a list of drywall recyclers:
The Metro website has a search feature to find
a local recycler that will accept materials for
recycling. There are over 400 local recycling
and reuse sites in their directory.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Waste reduction is not only good for the
environment, but it is good for business too.
There are multiple ways to reduce
construction waste by using the 3 Rs.
What are some ideas to reduce, reuse, or
recycle construction materials from the job
Metro Recycler Directory
BoneyardNW (buy & sell used construction material
PDX Relocate (drywall recycling):
Strategies to reduce waste:
Advanced Framing Techniques
The ReBuilding Center
3625 N. Mississippi Ave.
Portland, OR 97227
To see if items qualify for pickup: 503-445-1520. Alternative
option: email photos of items, along with your name and a
contact phone number, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
They don’t accept materials containing hazardous
substances (asbestos-containing materials, PCB’S, toxic or
flammable products, batteries, contaminated plumbing).