Construction is an important industry, and one that can be profitable and rewarding, but it also has certain challenges that are not necessarily found in other industries.
Like any business, construction involves tracking labour and other expenses, as well as deadlines and safety concerns. It also deals with other, non-controllable issues such as weather. But one major concern, which will arise on every virtual project, is the need to manage and remove construction waste material
Dealing with Construction Waste
Although the idea of dealing with construction waste seems simple enough in theory—in essence, it involves cleaning up during and after a project—it is a complicated affair that continues to grow ever more challenging.
Why should the act of cleaning up debris be difficult? There are a number of reasons, including the rising cost of disposal and increasingly stringent regulations. A company must manage its resources and schedule to ensure that debris is being cleared away and disposed of properly, but at the same time, they are dealing with the fact that in many locales, landfill spaces are filling up.
Because of the diminishing space available, it is becoming increasingly necessary to pursue alternatives, such as the reuse and recycling of materials. Fortunately, these challenges present opportunities for both contractors and builders to not only contribute to a greener environment but benefit financially by doing so.
What is Construction Waste Comprised of?
Construction and demolition (C&D) waste is largely grouped into three broad categories:
- Leftover waste, generated by new construction (packaging, scraps, etc.).
- Remodeling/ demolition debris from older buildings, including brick, plaster, old wood, fixtures, appliances and more.
- Debris generated from civil works projects such as bridges. This would include such things as concrete, asphalt, and rubble.
Proper construction waste management requires one to be aware of the fact that much of the waste material is actually reusable in some manner. It also requires knowledge of what would be considered hazardous waste, as well as the proper means of disposal thereof.
The Best Ways to Handle and Disposes of C&D Waste
Recycling is an option for most types of C&D waste and is more important than ever for the sake of conserving resources, and as mentioned above, because landfill spaces are filling up. When you consider that in the United States alone, the demolition of buildings produces 125 million tons of debris each year, it is easy to understand the growing need for recycling.
Some of the items that would be recycled include:
- Wood/ Lumber
While this will cover most of the materials used in construction, there are some items that would be considered hazardous and may be found in both construction and demolition. It is important to ensure that these materials are disposed of in the correct manner. They include:
- Materials containing asbestos
- Aerosol cans and empty containers
- Materials that contain lead
- Light bulbs, lamps, switches, and relays that contain mercury
- Oil-based paint and paint thinner
- PCB-containing light ballasts
- Treated wood and dust from sanding
- Shop towels and rags with solvents
Deconstructing is similar to recycling in that it allows materials to be reused. In this case, materials are broken down into components that can be used again or repurposed in some way. This may include items and materials such as:
- Light fixtures
- Plumbing fixtures
While all contractors are familiar with the large volume of debris produced by construction projects, not all are aware of how much of that debris can be recycled, repurposed or reused. One example of an excellent material for recycling is concrete, given its great durability and potential for reuse.
Precisely how much debris is produced on job sites? The following will give you an idea of the breakdown of construction and demolition debris according to project type:
- 6% from residential construction
- 3% from non-residential construction
- 11% from residential demolition
- 39% from non-residential demolition
- 22% from residential renovation
- 19% from non-residential renovation
It is not likely to be surprising to most contractors that nearly 40% of the construction and demolition debris is produced in non-residential (IE commercial) demolition projects. What may be surprising, however, is that at least 22% of C&D debris is produced by the smaller residential projects involving renovation. This, however, is a very good thing, given that much of the debris and waste produced during these projects can be recycled.
Efficient Removal of C&D Waste
Although the need to clean up, haul away, and recycle the waste and debris from a project site is often considered to be just another part of the job for contractors, there is really no need for it to be so. After all, any time that is spent in the clearing away of debris and cleaning up the work site is a time that could be better spent on actually completing the project.
Depending on the size of the job, the time required to clean up could become a very serious complication, with lost hours spent on something other than the actual task at hand. For that reason, it is worth your while to look into a junk removal specialist, who would be able to not only remove the debris but do so quickly and efficiently, ensuring a safe, neat, clean work site.
Additionally, a junk-removal expert would be better able to dispose of any hazardous materials present, saving you additional time and effort required to do so yourself.
For all your construction waste removal needs, contact 604-TRASH-IT today!