Colorado Contractors Challenge Program
The Colorado Contractor's Challenge is a voluntary program to promote sustainable business practices for contractors across the entire state. The program invites participants to take a Pledge outlining sustainable practices that may be currently in place and what practices may be put into action in the future. All actions are designed to be low cost and result in minimal disruption to normal business operations.
Recycle Colorado will administer the Colorado Contractor's Challenge and will provide all support to program participants, including hosting onsite training and webinars, assisting contractors to secure local recycling resources, and acting as a central source of recycling information.
Recycle Colorado is the leading independent, non-profit organization in Colorado actively working to advance infrastructure, end markets and state and local policies so that Colorado's waste stream is recycled, composted or diverted to reuse or re-manufacturing. The organization accomplishes this through 12-month action projects that result in the necessary findings and data to help solve for gaps in material circular economies.
In 2016, GE Johnson Construction Company (GE Johnson) collaborated with several other general contractors to advance recycling and sustainability in the construction industry. Unless contractors are working on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) projects, they typically do not have an incentive to recycle or exceed the minimum environmental standards required by local and federal regulations. The contractors conceptualized a statewide challenge that would encourage contractors to recycle and promote sustainable practices during project execution with little or no added cost.
Despite their best intentions, the contractors found it difficult to get the challenge off the ground. Resources are limited and for an industry where construction is the focus, establishing and maintaining a sustainability program proved to be difficult. Recycle Colorado has a focus on closing the recycling loop with construction and demolition (C&D) materials in Colorado and is well equipped to launch and successfully manage action- and result-oriented programs. Together, GE Johnson and Recycle Colorado formed a partnership to advance C&D recycling statewide through the launch of the Colorado Contractor’s Challenge (CCC).
The Colorado Contractor’s Challenge will promote minimum environmental standards on every construction project, based on United States Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED standards including storm water management, reducing water, energy, and material use, promoting better indoor air quality, and recycling. All actions are designed to be low cost and result in minimal disruption to normal business operations.
Small and medium-sized contractor firms across the state are encouraged to participate in the challenge. This program is free and voluntary for all program participants. The challenge will commence in February 2019 and end on December 31, 2019.
Recycle Colorado will focus on recycling and waste reduction through site visits, assessing waste practices, monitoring amounts of total trash and diverted and recycled material, assisting contractors with securing resources to recycle more material, and provide training and educational materials to contractors and their employees.
The recycling and waste diversion portion of the challenge is easily quantifiable through establishing a baseline data set and ongoing data tracking will provide data points for inclusion in a final program report. The final program report will be distributed to all stakeholders, including Recycle Colorado staff and Board of Directors, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), and program partners.
The goals of the Colorado Contractor’s Challenge program are:
(1) establish a baseline of current contractor recycling awareness and existing levels of C&D recycling across small, medium, and large contractor firms and also across the diverse regional areas of Colorado;
(2) ascertain the feasibility of C&D recycling across the different sized firms and regions;
(3) quantify the volume of C&D recyclables and waste diversion; and
(4) determine the feasibility of long-term C&D recycling and waste diversion in the state of Colorado.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why recycle C&D materials?
Gain tax benefits of donating to 501(c)(3) charities
Reduce transportation costs of reusing materials onsite
Reduce landfill tipping fee costs by diverting materials to a recycling facility
Receive community recognition from local sustainable organizations and partnerships
Market to clients who are looking for a sustainable solution
How can I reduce C&D waste on my site?
What materials do local C&D recyclers accept?
Are there easy-to-remove items like doors, windows, appliances, plumbing fixtures that can be salvaged for donation or reused on other projects?
Is there scrap wood or stumps and tree limbs that can be chipped onsite for use as mulch or groundcover?
Is there leftover paint that can be reused on another site or mixed and used as primer?
Can packaging be returned to the supplier for reuse?
Can brick, concrete, and masonry be salvaged for donation or used as fill material onsite?