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How to Manage Construction Waste Effectively

Last Updated on May 6, 2022 by Admin

About half of the world’s solid waste comes from various construction projects! Whether you’re renovating, building, or demolishing, you’ll undoubtedly have to handle materials such as concrete, wood, and bricks. These materials, known as construction and demolition (C & C&D), always leave significant debris.

Unfortunately, construction waste isn’t just something you can brush aside. On the contrary, its proper management and reduction are of utmost importance. After all, there’s hardly anything quite as detrimental to our planet as waste.

So, what should you do to manage construction waste efficiently? Luckily, there are many solutions to this problem — and here are a few.

Source Reduction

The less waste you have, the easier it will be to deal with it. And to reduce the amount of waste, you need to decrease the need for construction and demolition. But how do you manage that?

The first and most crucial step is building resilient and adaptable constructions that can last long. These buildings should also be easier to disassemble than demolish — that way, most materials can be reused.

On top of that, follow all construction guidelines and standards. That way, there won’t be any need for repairs and renovations that would only accumulate more waste.


Recycling

Some types of construction waste are entirely unusable, but others can be recycled and used elsewhere. For instance, furniture can be made of recycled wood and still be of the same quality as regular wood. Aside from wood, you can recycle many other C&D materials — steel, copper, concrete, and rubble.

Keep in mind, though, that recycling requires responsibility, supervision, and storage space. It’s not just something you decide to do one day — you need to plan carefully and choose a recycling method. And these are the three common ones:

Site-Separated Recycling

When you think of recycling, this method is the first one that comes to mind. It involves separating the waste into designated boxes on the construction site. There is a separate box for each type of waste, and all employees need to follow strict recycling guidelines.

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While this method promotes responsibility and ensures that the project goals are met, it requires a lot of supervision. To ensure that everyone follows the rules, you could introduce a reward system for those who recycle correctly.

Another issue is that site-separated recycling takes up a lot of space. For some construction sites, that’s not a problem, but smaller ones might not have enough to spare. In that case, it’s best to try one of the other two methods.



Commingled Recycling

Instead of sorting all waste into separate containers, put it all together in one. Then, a hauler will take it away and sort it off-site. That way, you don’t have to worry about space or supervision — in fact, you can operate in much the same way as before you started recycling.

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The only problem is that recycled materials will be of lower quality since they were all stored together at first. Also, the costs of sorting waste off-site are higher than when you do it independently.

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Hybrid Recycling

Mixed recycling combines the best of both worlds, so that it might be the right choice. Typically, you’ll only use a small number of containers — one for wood, one for concrete, and another for non-recyclable waste. That way, the haulers won’t need to spend that much time sorting the trash, and you won’t have to delegate ample storage space for containers.



Reuse Materials

Although most debris may seem like a waste to you, plenty can be reused in other project phases or different projects. Construction Materials like clean wood, plastic, and gravel can be in excellent condition after one use. And even if you don’t reuse them yourself, you can sell or donate them or even exchange them for something new.

So, make sure to look at the debris after a construction project. Who knows what gems you might find? That’s especially true if you’re working on demolition sites — they are often brimming with valuable materials.

Reusing debris not only helps with waste management but also protects the environment. After all, the more materials you salvage, the less you’ll need to buy. Thus, their demand will drop too, and finite resources, such as forests, will be conserved.


Minimize Waste

Even if you don’t take significant steps to manage waste, you can always start with small things. For instance, start buying products shipped with minimal packaging or use recycled materials. That way, you’ll ensure no unnecessary or excess waste.

Dispose Properly

Finally, once you’ve exhausted all other options, it’s time to dispose of the remaining waste. That may seem relatively simple, but keep in mind that some types of trash can be dangerous. For instance, plasterboard can release a toxic hydrogen sulfate once it breaks. Thus, you need to know how to handle it properly.

And if you don’t, it’s best to hire a waste management company. These companies typically have plenty of experience with waste disposal, so that they will save you a lot of effort.

In Conclusion

Every construction project needs an effective plan for managing waste. Without one, the whole site can become a mess — and that’s not even the worst part. The real problem lies in that excess waste is incredibly detrimental to the environment. And as you can see, proper management can reduce its amount, so don’t hesitate and start applying these tips today.




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