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Higher Eduction Meets Higher Recycling Goals


With renowned architect Rafael Moneo on board to design the building, Princeton University wanted the construction process of their new Psychology and Neuroscience Center to be just as groundbreaking. ESMG joined the project team and was tasked with drafting a construction waste management plan that would achieve a landfill diversion goal of 95% in the most resource efficient, cost effective and environmentally sustainable means possible.

Recycling everything from drywall and wood to insulation and fireproofing, this project set the standard for all future construction at the school without compromising the prestigious legacy that Princeton University is known for.

Education was a priority at the construction site, and it quickly became evident that training and close attention to material usage meant less site waste and greater efficiency.

Since a large amount of stone needed to be cleared before the foundation of the building could be laid down, much of this material was reused directly on site, used as an aggregate for much of the building footprint.

In order to maintain the quality of commodities such as gypsum drywall, covered storage containers were used to hold recyclable materials until they were ready to be taken off site.

The flow of non-recyclable waste was kept to a minimum with the entire site using a single front load container for waste. This meant 30 cubic yard containers used for wood, metal, cardboard, etc., needed to be checked for contamination prior to being emptied. No recycling container could leave the site with a significant amount of contamination.

Are you interested in taking sustainable construction beyond academic discussion? Send an email to and grab your hard hat. We can’t wait to get the conversation started.

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