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Create a strong market for recycled products in order to complete the recycling process or “close the loop.” Reduce the impact resulting from extraction and processing of virgin materials and reduce landfill. (USGBC)

Recycled-content products are made from materials that would otherwise have been discarded. There are three types of recycled content: post-consumer, pre-consumer, and post-industrial. Post-consumer content refers to material from products that were used by their intended end-users and would otherwise be discarded as waste. Pre-consumer content refers to material diverted from the waste stream during the manufacturing process that can not re-enter the same manufacturing process that generated it. Post-industrial content refers to any material diverted from the waste stream during the manufacturing process, including scrap material that can be reused in the same manufacturing process that created it.
Recycled-content products should not be confused with recyclable products. Recyclable products can be collected and remanufactured into new products after they have been used, however, they do not necessarily contain recycled materials and only benefit the environment if people recycle them after use.

Architects close the loop when they specify products made from recycled materials. Governments and corporations can promote use of recycled products through their own purchasing programs and guidelines. Identify material suppliers that can achieve established project goals for recycled content materials. During construction ensure that the specified recycled content materials are installed.

Materials with recycled content can be incorporated into the building process with minimal to no cost premium.

Many commonly used products are available with recycled content. Most of them exhibit performance similar to products made with only virgin materials and can easily be incorporated into the building process.

Consider a range of environmental, economic and performance attributes when selecting products and materials. Recycled content shall be defined in accordance with the International Organization for Standardization document, ISO 14021.

4.3.2 Fly Ash