Construction waste is a constant element for contractors. While there are options for how to best dispose of it, recycling may not be an obvious one.
Building and construction is a demanding industry which also comes with a large number of unique challenges.
These include finding the most efficient and cost-effective means of dealing with the construction waste and debris that is produced on a job. In fact, construction waste disposal is a never ending job for contractors.
Safety should be uppermost in the minds of GCs, right before budgets and time frames. Then there are issues with regulations, labor union rules, weather, and sub-contractor relations.
But there is always, always the matter of cleaning up and junk hauling.
Best Practices for Construction Waste
For most contractors, dealing with construction waste and construction debris removal is one of the most inefficient tasks they face. Disposal costs are on the rise and their own production resources get taken up endlessly with the ongoing need to clean up and dispose of construction waste.
And because landfill space is diminishing rapidly, as well, alternatives such as reuse and recycling of waste materials is a pressing concern. The good news here is that the C&D (construction and demolition) waste challenge provides an opportunity for contractors and builders to contribute positively to the environment.
What's In Your Construction and Demolition Waste?
C&D waste is often divided into a number of categories:
- Waste left over from new construction (i.e. new material scraps, packaging, etc.)
- Remodeling/demolition debris from older buildings (i.e. old wood, insulation, plaster, brick, fixtures, appliances, etc.)
- Debris from large civil works projects such as highways and bridges (i.e. concrete, asphalt, rubble, etc.
How much is actually generated from construction and demolition work depends on how construction debris is defined and what's included, etc. The overall totals produced by the construction industry in the U.S. is impressive.
Part of the challenge, too, is that much of the waste materials are reusable in some form or another. A second challenge with construction waste is that some of it is considered hazardous.
Best Practices for Handling and Disposing of C&D Waste
There are a number of options for dealing with C&D waste and debris, but not all of them are recommended. Here are some facts regarding C&D waste best practices to consider:
By taking a strategic and proactive approach to construction debris, contractors can not only make the debris removal and disposal chore easier on themselves, they can contribute to the health of the environment and even make some money.
Here are a few tips for builders and contractors who want to develop strategies for salvaging useful waste materials:
- Instead of creating a pile of mixed materials when renovating or building your home, consider separating and salvaging useful materials, including lumber, fixtures, hardware, and appliances.
- One way to do this for an existing home is through deconstruction, the systematic and careful removal of materials from structures for reuse or recycling.
- Outlets are available in many areas to collect or purchase used and salvaged building materials, and some nonprofit organizations also accept used building materials.
Recycling is an option, as well. A large variety of construction waste materials can be recycled in places where there are facilities that provide that service. For example:
- Wood can be recycled into reclaimed or composite wood products such as furniture and plastic/wood-composite decks, as well as mulch and other products. (Note: wood from decks, roofing or other outdoor applications was likely treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA), a hazardous substance, and should be disposed, NOT reused, recycled or burned.)
- Asphalt, masonry, concrete, and rubble can be recycled into aggregate or new asphalt and concrete products.
- Metals, including steel, copper, and brass, are valuable commodities to recycle, especially in light of the current market for certain metals.
Recycling and re-purposing of construction waste makes a real difference. It is estimated that the area of landfill that is not needed because of recycling just construction waste is equivalent to over 4, 300 acres at a depth of 50 feet. That's over 3 billion square yards of landfill each year!
Junk Hauling by Real Professionals for Construction Waste Disposal
Trash hauling and site clean-up might be considered “part of the job” for contractors, bit it really doesn’t have to be. When you consider that every hour your crew spends picking up debris, cleaning the site, and hauling and disposing of the material, is an hour NOT spent generating revenue on a project. And the bigger the job, the more the opportunity costs add up.
Add to that the possible costs of hazardous material disposal and even required training for your employees, the benefits of outsourcing these tasks become more attractive.
Do you have a current or upcoming project that will need construction trash clean-up and removal? If so, call Junk King! Our team specializes in construction trash removal. We can be at your facility in mere minutes, so call us today! Our crew is fully insured and well-trained, so you can trust them to get rid of your unwanted items in a professional and courteous fashion.
And one of the best things about hiring Junk King is that we recycle a much of the material we pick-up. This is proof of our commitment to being an eco-friendly removal service. If you have questions about what we do or what we believe, give us a call at (707) 744-4254.