Mississauga diverting 75% of construction waste at library renovation

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The City of Mississauga has implemented a plan to reduce the number of city-owned items sent to landfill prior to construction and has diverted more than 75 per cent of its demolition construction waste from landfills since 2021.

One major renovation project, at the Hazel McCallion Central Library, has resulted in substantial environmental, community and economic benefits, city staff reported.

Staff leveraging the city’s membership in Partners in Project Green’s material exchange program to donate items including chairs, bookshelves, display cases, book carts, filing cabinets, lockers, desks and office chairs to Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army and other not-for-profit organizations.

It’s estimated that more than 120,000-kilograms of material was diverted from landfill and by reusing and donating assets around various internal departments, the library project saved Mississauga an estimated $4,000 in disposal fees to landfill, avoiding approximately 40 kilograms of CO2 emissions.

The library construction project is also following the Corporate Green Building Standards, which include the need to reduce the amount of construction and demolition waste sent to landfills or incinerated by promoting good waste management practices.

Designed by RH Architects, all five floors of public and staff space, including the Glass Pavilion, Breezeway and the Noel Ryan Auditorium are under renovation. At this time all interior demolition has been completed, construction of the fourth floor sky lounge has commenced and mechanical and electrical rough-ins are ongoing.

It’s the first large-scale renovation of Hazel McCallion Central Library to take place since its opening in 1991. The library is scheduled to reopen in 2023.

Since the demolition began in April 2021, the majority of wood, concrete and scrap metal have been sent for recycling with an estimated 650,000 kg diverted from landfill and the construction project will also include environmentally sustainable initiatives in the newly renovated building such as bird-friendly glass and lighting control measures to reduce light pollution.

“A circular economy ensures that all products, materials and resources are reused or recycled,” a staff report concludes.

“This year, Mississauga became a Founding Member of the Circular Economy Leaders Consortium, in partnership with TELUS and Partners in Project Green joining other companies and organizations committed to moving the circular economy forward.”

“As the city moves to advance the circular economy and become a waste diversion leader, it will continue to tackle climate risks and build resilient communities with sustainable practices and zero-waste solutions.”

Construction, renovation and demolition waste continue to be the largest contributors of waste in municipal and regional landfills in Ontario. Materials like wood, bricks, drywall, metal, cardboard, carpeting as well as furnishings can be reused or recycled.

Hazel McCallion Central Library closed on March 20, 2021 to undergo a major renovation to meet the growing needs of its customers and changing business priorities.

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