Demolish With Care – Deconstruction

With nearly 40 percent of our landfills filled with construction debris, it’s time for our industry to do some major rethinking about what gets hauled to the dump and what can be recycled and/or reused.

Following one of our key strategies – to act responsibly at all times – Model Remodel creates an aggressive waste management plan for every project and aims for recycling or repurposing 90 percent of existing site materials.

During our demolition at the Northwest Harvest House (NWHH) site, we surpassed even our highest expectations achieving a nearly 99 percent recycle rate and taking barely one percent of our onsite debris to the nearby solid waste transfer station.

The elements of the NWHH waste management plan included deconstructing the existing house and working with strategic partners that have also evolved their business models. We worked with the area’s waste management companies who make it simpler than ever to properly sort construction waste and called upon others to haul away salvageable fixtures, doors and windows – giving these things a second life in another home, business or backyard.

Model Remodel tested for lead and asbestos and, when found, met or exceeded the requirements for safe removal of these harmful building materials. Toxic materials are safely dealt with to protect people as well as our storm water system and nearby Lake Washington. We also protected and preserved healthy vegetation, donated plants to local organizations, and sold unusable trees for milling into lumber.

This sloping, one-acre lot also required extensive excavation of existing soils. We’re protecting it during construction and will reuse it elsewhere onsite as the project progresses. Reusing soil saves time, money and fossil fuel!

Everyone associated with the project warmly embraces the responsible tenets of recycle/reuse and are thrilled knowing that this project did not adversely contribute to expanding our landfills. Besides saving the planet, it makes financial sense, too, as any revenues realized during deconstruction are passed along as a refund to our clients.


  1. I think having a 99 % recycle rate is really amazing. I think it goes to show that it may take effort but not everything has to go waste. It’s also proof on how much you can recycle after things like a demolition.

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