Waste management is a growing concern in the construction industry due to the rise in green consciousness and government regulations. However, many contractors can still not identify and evaluate their waste streams or create an action plan for dealing with it. Let us help you with that through these tips:
Have a Detailed Project Plan to Minimize Waste
The project plan is a crucial building block for effective waste management. It provides a platform for planning, organizing, and prioritizing practices that are to be implemented throughout the project. It also helps you accurately calculate the amount of waste generated, helping you to identify problem areas and choose appropriate solutions.
Deconstruct Leftover Materials
Once you have identified the waste stream, it is time to look for ways to minimize the quantity or reuse it. You can achieve that by deconstructing leftover materials for recycling. This reduces the volume of waste that needs to be eliminated. Scrap metals, for example, can be recycled, which is not only sustainable but also cost-effective.
Identify Recyclable Materials
Before you begin to think of eliminating your waste, you should note that many of the materials you use in your project can be recycled. This makes it easier to reuse or sell such materials to third parties looking to buy.
You will find that certain materials can be sold multiple times. Take plywood and particleboard, for example. These materials can be laid out on the job site to help workers and equipment operate more efficiently or even be made into planters. Either way, they can be recycled and used again.
Add Recycling and Waste Receptacles On-Site
To help ensure that your workers follow your waste-management policies and procedures, you should establish a waste management system on-site. An excellent place to start is by installing recycling and waste receptacles. This will make it easier for workers to dispose of the trash and general waste that is generated on the job site. It’s also a good idea to post a list of prohibited materials that can’t be disposed of in the trash bins. This includes things like food cartons, plastic bags, wood, and other prohibited items by your state.
Get Recovered or Post-Consumer Materials
You can reduce your waste by getting recovered or post-consumer materials. This is a common practice for many contractors, who regularly purchase plastic scrap, granite pieces, and sand. By using such materials, you reduce the amount of waste you will have to dispose of.
Reuse & Return Scraps
You should also be mindful of the materials you will return to the vendor at the end of the project. In many cases, the amount of waste is minimal, especially if you use plywood and particleboard. Chances are that these materials will be reused again, which will reduce your disposal costs and your carbon footprint.
Take Care of Hazardous Construction Waste
All hazardous construction waste must be handled according to federal and state laws. This includes everything from contaminated soils and asbestos to batteries and fluorescent light bulbs. It is important to note that you must be careful when handling such waste to avoid violating these laws, which can be costly.
Waste Management Done Right
As a contractor, you have a responsibility to keep your workplace clean. It is an unwritten rule of construction and demolition work that you should never leave a worksite dirtier than you found it. Use these tips to manage all waste properly on the site.
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