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Originally Posted On: https://rrswastestream.com/construction-waste-disposal-best-practices/
America produces thirty percent of the world’s waste. This statistic may not seem extraordinary. Until you realize America is home to only four percent of the world’s population.
It’s estimated that construction amounts to one-third of American waste. This number places those in the construction industry in a position to make a huge difference. Even the smallest positive changes help.
How can construction companies make a difference? By learning the best practices for construction waste disposal. Continue reading to find out what those are.
What Construction Waste Can Be Recycled?
Which items can be recycled will depend on the type of construction.
A few of the most common recyclable items include:
- Masonry — can be reused in construction or for creating road bases
- Windows, doors, and roofs — can be reused in construction or donated to local charities
- Appliances and fixtures — if in good condition, can be reused and if not, can go to the scrapyard
- Lumber and other wood products — reused, converted into mulch, or turned into biomass fuel
- Metal — can be smelted and converted into other metal objects
- Trees and other plant life — can get replanted in some circumstances or turned into biomass fuel
- Cardboard, paper products, and plastic — can be recycled into other products
This isn’t an extensive list. There may be other materials found at specific job sites that can be recycled.
Another thing to keep in mind is any waste the construction crew creates can be recycled. Plastic water bottles, food containers, and other items can be recycled along with similar items from the construction itself.
What Should Be Done With Hazardous Construction Waste?
In construction, there may be certain materials that qualify as hazardous waste. Anything that poses a health hazard to humans qualifies. This type of material needs a special manner of disposal.
You should find a company that deals with hazardous waste disposal. It’s best to use this type of company because they’ll know both how to dispose of it safely and how to be safe around it.
Hazardous construction waste can leach into the ground if disposed of improperly. It can contaminate water sources like drinking wells, rivers, and even the ocean.
Build to Standard Dimensions When Possible
The best way to improve construction waste disposal is to reduce the amount used. An easy way to do this is by building to standard dimensions whenever possible.
What does this mean?
It means that certain items, like lumber, come in many standard sizes. If the project requires these sizes, there’s no need to trim the wood used. This can reduce the amount of wood waste during building.
How much can you reduce construction waste this way?
Let’s say, for example, a project requires you to trim a quarter-inch off the ends of 100 pieces of lumber. This doesn’t sound like much, but it amounts to 25 inches of wasted wood total. Many projects will use ten times this amount or more.
Deconstruct, Don’t Demolish
Demolishing a building means taking a wrecking ball and knocking the entire construction down. This creates a lot of waste that could otherwise be disposed of in a more eco-friendly manner.
Deconstructing a building is a much more responsible method. It involves purposefully taking apart the building so those items can be salvaged.
Deconstruction does take longer than demolishing. When you consider the immense impact the extra time can have on the amount of waste sent to a landfill, it’s well worth the effort.
Another bonus is that deconstructing can allow you to recoup extra costs. You can sell many items in bulk or exchange them for a small amount of cash at a local scrapyard. While you won’t make a fortune, you could make a few extra bucks.
Build It Back Into the Building When Possible
If you’re tearing apart a building with some materials in excellent condition, you can build them back in. Lumber is one good example. Some doors, windows, and other home fixtures are also good ideas.
Reusing the materials on the project at hand isn’t always possible, but is something to consider. You may even be able to reuse the materials in a different project you’re working on.
Use a Local Recycling Center
Before you begin construction, research where the local recycling center is. You can usually find one within twenty miles.
You can rent large recycling containers from the center. The recycling center will often pick up these containers and carry them back to the recycling yard for you.
The costs of renting dumpsters may not be worthwhile if the construction project is small. In these circumstances, it can still be beneficial to load up the back of company vehicles. You can take the recyclable materials down yourself.
Separate Materials as You Go
If you separate the different materials as you go, it makes it much easier to dispose of responsibly later. Renting recycling containers from your local center can make this a lot easier.
Even without renting containers, however, you can still separate them. Create different piles for unique types of waste. If hauling them to the recycling center, take them one type of waste per truckload.
Do You Have More Questions About Construction Waste Disposal Best Practices?
Construction waste contributes excessively to landfills in America. Thankfully, there are many things you can do to dispose of the waste properly. In some situations, it’s possible to reduce the amount of waste to begin with.
Do you have more questions about construction waste disposal best practices? Or, would you like to inquire about our innovative waste management services?
Contact us today. One of our associates would be happy to answer any questions you still have. They can also help you hire services while on the phone if desired.