History: County staff are proposing a deconstruction incentive program to make deconstruction more affordable and increase awareness about the option. Deconstruction is the process of carefully dismantling structures to salvage building materials for reuse and recycling. Commonly salvaged building materials include old growth lumber, doors, flooring, cabinets and fixtures. Only 30 percent of the construction and demolition waste generated in the Twin Cities metro area is diverted for recycling. Deconstruction provides an opportunity to divert up to 85 percent of construction/demolition waste and provides several environmental and social benefits compared to standard demolition. However, deconstruction techniques are not widely used because they add additional cost and time to demolition projects. While homeowners want more environmentally-friendly ways to divert construction and demolition waste, general awareness of deconstruction as an option is low.
The deconstruction incentive program will provide up to $5,000 per project for the complete removal or major renovation of residential properties, offsetting some of the costs for homeowners and developers associated with utilizing deconstruction techniques versus traditional demolition. City partners will help promote the program when homeowners and developers apply for demolition and renovation permits, making applicants aware of more environmentally-friendly options to waste disposal. Initially, the program will be offered to homeowners and developers applying for permits in Minneapolis and St. Louis Park. Additional cities will be recruited as the program expands beyond the initial roll-out in Minneapolis and St. Louis Park. If awarded, funds will be dispersed upon completion of deconstruction work and verification of material reuse or disposal.
To be eligible for the incentive funds, projects must meet specific criteria, including:
structure must be built prior to 1950.
size of structure or renovation area must be 250 square feet or larger.
a pre-demolition inspection must be conducted by county staff and the homeowner or developer will be required to properly dispose of any hazardous building materials found at the property.
specific categories of materials must be recovered for reuse.
minimum weights of specific materials must be recovered for reuse.
all non-reusable building material generated from the project must be sent to a construction/demolition waste recycling processing facility that has been approved by the county.
Throughout the program, county staff will track the weight and types of waste diverted, new contractors offering deconstruction services, and any barriers experienced to utilizing deconstruction techniques. The data collected will provide information needed to expand the awareness and use of deconstruction techniques across the county.
This deconstruction incentive program is one part of a broader strategy outlined in the county’s solid waste management master plan to divert construction and demolition waste from the trash (Resolution 17-0479). Other efforts include: encouraging deconstruction practices in county demolition projects, assuring proper disposal of hazardous materials by demolition contractors, and promoting opportunities to reuse building materials to builders and residents.
Current Request: This request seeks approval of a deconstruction incentive program to provide funding for homeowners and developers to divert building materials for reuse and recycling, for the period of January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020, in a total combined not to exceed amount of $100,000.
All agreements with homeowners and developers will be less than $5,000 and will be signed by the County Administrator, or designee.
Funding for this program is included in the Environment and Energy 2020 budget request and comes from the Solid Waste Enterprise Fund.
Impact/Outcomes: The deconstruction incentive program will increase the reuse and recycling of building materials by diverting them from the construction and demolition waste stream. This will reduce the amount of construction and demolition waste going to landfills. The program will provide funding to at least 20 properties per year, resulting in a diversion of approximately 700 tons of waste annually. Additionally, the program will increase public awareness of deconstruction and endeavor to increase the number of contractors offering deconstruction services.