NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Nashville is known for its constant construction and with that comes a lot of waste. Experts said it’s becoming a problem that is impacting everyone.
In many cases developers and builders are on a deadline. Their goal is to get done and get done as quickly as possible.
But the extra wood, metal and cardboard materials end up in dumpsters, which is impacting the environment which in turns impacts everyone.
At Good Wood Nashville, they build everything from mantles and tables to floors and walls.
“We do about 500 projects a year,” said Dave Puncochar, the founder and owner of Good Wood Nashville.
About 70% of their projects are done with recycled or reclaimed wood.
“In fact, I call it Good Wood because of the old moniker, ‘They don’t make it like they used to.’ The whole thing is, the old stuff is the good stuff,” said Puncochar.
They’re the exception, not the rule.
In fact, drive around Nashville and you’ll find lots of construction and demolition sites with big dumpsters filled with recyclable materials that will end up going to waste.
“If you were to take a cross section of the landfill, 23% of that is demolition and construction material,” said Todd Lawrence, Executive Director of Urban Green Lab.
Lawrence said it’s a problem that everyone needs to be worried about.
“Because all of that waste going into the landfill produces greenhouse gas emissions and that helps to warm our planet and contribute to climate change,” said Lawrence.
In 2019, the Solid Waste Region Board passed a zero-waste master plan calling for strategies to increase recycling in Nashville, but so far there aren’t any rules requiring bins on construction sites and there aren’t any incentives for crews to recycle.
“We really don’t have those things in place and as a result we have more buildings coming up and fewer options for recycling,” said Lawrence.
For many builders, the resources they worry about are time and money, but some said recycling could save them both.
“If you’re going to pay 600 bucks per dumpster, why not shave off a couple dumpsters off the project and work with a company like Good Wood Nashville and say, ‘Hey, can you help us reclaim some of this,’” said Puncochar.