It is important that you understand that each project is different and requires different materials in different capacities so plan out your requirements for each project and support less wasteful designs.

Erich Lawson

Construction has always been regarded as a sign of prosperity but unfortunately, every construction site generates construction waste. What is construction waste you ask? Construction waste is a term that is applied to most anything that has been generated due to construction after which it was discarded without being stockpiled or processed. Two types of construction waste are:

  • Non-Inert Construction WasteThis makes up 20 percent of the total amount of waste and is usually made up of packaging waste, organic materials, vegetation, timber and bamboo. Only some of these waste materials are recycled while the rest of them are disposed of at landfill sites.
  • Inert Construction WasteThis is made up of earth, concrete, bitumen rubble and debris which can be used for land formation. Some materials like asphalt and concrete can be recycled and reused in construction.

Six Practical Tips to Reduce Your Construction Waste

#1: Begin Your Construction Waste Management from the Bottom During the Designing Phase

Proper waste management begins with effectively determining which materials are recyclable first. Make sure that your team has designed the project so that there is an absolute minimal amount of materials wasted.

#2: Repurpose and Recycle Your Leftovers

Recycling the waste materials generated at a construction location is important due to the environmental advantage of instant recycling. Another advantage of recycling onsite is that it reduces the cost of transporting materials and removal expenses.

#3: Reduce Your Landfill Cost and Work with the Right Suppliers

Leaving a lot of waste to landfill will stretch your budget. Avoid putting strain on your budget by planning what kind of materials you need and how much of it is necessary to avoid wastage. You can then order your supplies in standard sizes to reduce the cut off levels. Make sure that all the materials you order are handled properly to avoid wastage through damage. Choose and work with suppliers who support your onsite waste management strategy. Your suppliers should:

  • Offer take-back plans that allow you to return/sell back whatever excess materials you don’t need.
  • Allow staggered deliveries which reduces the need to manage costly onsite storage areas.

#4: Separate Your Construction Waste

How your waste is separated and stored is important to managing your construction waste costs.  You can do this by:

  • Installing a secure onsite storage area that is clearly labeled, has color coded skips as well as having wheelie bags for the different types of waste
  • Set up a screener and a mini crusher
  • Train your employees in basic segregation procedures
  • Get a team whose job is to oversee and handle waste

#5: Onsite Construction Waste Management

Manage your waste as you generate it but make sure that everyone on your site sticks to the plan and disposes of it in a safe and responsible manner. Bearing these tips in mind will make your construction firm a lot more eco-friendly:

  • Arrange your waste containers into three groups labeled recyclable, reusable and rubbish.
  • If classifying and sorting your waste into different containers is not possible then make sure that all the junk that can be recycled goes into the same container
  • Salvage as many non-recyclable things as possible
  • Don’t dispose of your leftover materials as they may be useful later on
  • Convert any trees, branches and bushes that are cut from your site into landscaping mulch

#6: Delivery, Storage and Timing Should be in Sync

Materials usually go to waste because they’re stored onsite longer than they should be and tend to become unstable. To prevent this from happening, plan your deliveries so that they are in tandem with the different stages of your project.

It is important that you understand that each project is different and requires different materials in different capacities so plan out your requirements for each project and support less wasteful designs. Incorporating a commercial shredder into your recycling facility will allow you to reduce your construction waste and allow for better construction waste recycling in a more efficient manner.

Erich Lawson is very passionate about the environment and is an advocate of effective recycling. He writes on a wide array of topics to inform readers on how modern recycling equipment can be used by industries to reduce monthly wastage bills and increase recycling revenue. Visit his social media profile URLs at: