Waste management is an ongoing problem for the construction and demolitions industry. Managing this waste responsibly is an essential part of the overall job. It is vital to reduce, reuse and recycle waste as efficiently as possible to serve as an effective contractor. Read an overview of the challenges faced in waste management for construction and demolitions projects.
Most waste management in the U.S. occurs through the use of federally-regulated landfills. These areas are designated and carefully regulated to protect not only human health but the environment and commerce as well. There are millions of tons of construction and demolitions waste disposed of in these landfills every year.
More and more, materials are diverted from landfills to be recycled into new materials. Metals especially can be reused, but millions of tons of refuse each year can actually be turned around to be processed and re-made into brand new materials covering everything from personal use to commercial purposes to new construction materials and equipment.
Getting Rid of Waste
Some materials formerly regarded as waste don’t have to be waste at all, and this can seriously reduce the amount of landfill material produced. Metal form systems for concrete building, for example, can be de-mounted and re-used in other areas. This can eliminate waste from fabricated plywood and lumber use.
Reducing waste often begins at the manufacturer level. If products are packaged and used more efficiently, they create less waste to deal with. Contractors can help this process by deliberately partnering with organizations who make an effort to use such efficient processes.
Reuse and Recycling
There’s no reason to dump solid doors and windows into landfills. Old countertops that are nevertheless in good condition can be pulled and set aside for reuse. The amount of materials from any job that could be pulled and re-used is staggering and can drastically reduce the amount of waste produced.
Why You Should Care
It’s a simple matter of numbers. The world isn’t growing in size, but there are more people here than ever before. We live crowded together in cities, and environmental issues have become a real problem. It may not be a concern to you whether the problems are man-made, but the truth is, we can do something about it for our future.
Since the construction industry produces some of the highest concentrations of waste out there, it falls upon contractors to work to reduce, reuse and recycle this waste as best they possibly can. In the end, it’s quite simple to do and requires a modicum of effort and extra time. The benefits far outweigh the costs.
In addition, you want to avoid the liability that comes with violating federal regulations regarding waste disposal. This is why it’s a good idea to carry strong insurance coverage.