Many builders talk about sustainability, but John Suppes has actually put his money where his mouth is by purchasing an $80,000 waste grinder (1). The owner of Clarum Homes in Palo Alto, Calif., uses the grinder to convert waste on his construction sites into usable construction material.

Everyone on Clarum Homes’ sites is required to segregate waste by type and pile it at specified locations. The hvac contractor takes his scrap back to the shop and puts it in a dumpster provided by a metal recycler. Crew members collect cardboard and haul it to a recycling company. Most of what’s left becomes grist for the grinder, which turns...

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