Deconstruction as a Method for Waste Diversion in Canada’s Built Environment

Waste diversion is a prominent discussion across Canada, as we have recognized the large impact that the waste we produce has on the environment as well as the impact of how we manage it. The most common conversations have often been around personal waste reduction and the “zero-waste” movement, however what has been largely left out of conversation is the impact that the construction, renovation, and demolition (CRD) industry has on the environment and what we can do to divert that waste (Delphi, 2021; Veleva et al., 2017). This research focuses on the deconstruction of single-family homes as a method of waste diversion in the CRD industry. Deconstruction is an important next step in waste diversion in municipalities across Canada as research has shown that 95% of CRD materials are able to be reused, recycled, or salvaged (CCME, 2019). With approximately 800,000 homes being demolished across Canada each year, there is a lot of opportunity to divert more waste and reduce the impact on the environment (CCME, 2019). This research aims to explore the barriers for deconstruction programs and policies, how we can overcome those barriers, and to determine what the best steps forward are in municipalities.

Alexandra Velsink
Faculty Supervisor: 
John Sinclair
Partner University: