[This post was originally published in March 2018 and has been revised and updated.]
The weather may not be cooperating everywhere in the country, but home building has picked up again and this means more construction debris removal.
Now that spring is officially here and the weather is improving in most of the United States, new home construction and other building projects are picking up again. This in spite of the ongoing coronavirus epidemic in the country.
The Demand for Housing is Up Despite COVID-19
For a variety of reasons the housing supply across the US has been low and, even in the throes of COVID-19, the demand for homes has skyrocketed over the last 18 months. This demand has, in turn, led to a steady increase in housing construction throughout the country leading to, in many cases, record numbers of housing starts.
According to an article at Forbes.com,
"In 2021, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) forecasts single-family housing starts to be around 1.134 million. And that could just be the beginning, as projections going forward are even rosier: 1.165 million single-family homes in 2022 and 1.210 million in 2023."
How does that compare to previous years?
The last time single-family housing starts broke 1 million was in 2007. After this, there was a sharp decline in 2011, when housing starts dropped to 430,600. Since then construction has steadily risen until 2019, when there were 887,700 single-family home starts.
Coming into the 2020 recession, there was still a supply shortage of 2.5 million units, however, according to research by Freddie Mac.
With historically low mortgage interest rates and a sharp increase in potential buyers, the market has been primed for explosive growth. And even the COVID-19 pandemic and government shut-downs has done little to keep this momentum from building. (No pun intended!)
Let the Building Begin
One other thing that all this home building and other construction means is that a great deal of construction waste and debris is being produced on job sites.
And that means someone has to take care of getting rid of it.
One of the less glamorous realities of the building trade is that construction debris removal is a job that has to be done. And it takes time to get it done, and it costs money without adding any profit. Most general contractors delegate the task to crew members who would rather do other things, but it is a job that must be done.
One of the other realities of construction is that the process generates waste.
So how much waste?
The EPA estimated that construction in the United States typically produces over 200 million tons of construction waste in a typical year. And, unfortunately, most of this waste ends up in landfills and dumps.
Fortunately, because so much of the waste materials from housing construction can be reused, refurbished, or recycled into usable products, the volume of waste going to landfills is diminishing.
Unfortunately, landfill space is also diminishing, so alternatives such as reuse and recycling of waste materials are even more critical. The good news is that C&D waste (construction and demolition) disposal provides an opportunity for contractors and builders to contribute positively to the environment.
"Debris management" might seem like a business term that doesn't really apply to taking care of all the waste and trash from your construction project. However, smart contractors know that managing the proper clean up and disposal of debris is a critical part of the job.
Too many contractors simply delegate the chore to some of their crew without much oversight at all. However, dealing with your construction waste in a strategic and cost-effective manner requires management and forethought.
A Great Construction Debris Removal Option is a MINI Dumpster
Most building projects require continual and long-term clean up. Especially for smaller jobs, the typical solution is to load a truck with debris periodically and make a "dump run." However, there is more to proper junk removal than simply throwing stuff into the back of a truck.
Knowing what can be disposed of legally and where to take it is a large part of proper waste disposal. And simply taking everything to the local landfill – assuming there is one – is not always the most cost-effective means of disposal.
Another option is to rent a dumpster for collecting an disposing of project debris, which can actually be far more efficient and cost-effective.
However, trying to use a large, 40 cubic yard dumpster creates a few problems for residential contractors:
- They are often expensive
- The take up a lot of space and can block driveways
- Commercial dumpsters unattractive and hard to use
- There can be additional charges for any labor
A better dumpster option is to use the MINI-Dumpster drop-off services from Junk King. These issues are eliminated with the MINI Dumpster. And their smaller size and the quick delivery and pick-up services make this dumpster a great choice for your construction waste disposal needs.
Going Green With Debris Removal
Recycling and re-purposing many items and materials is a responsible approach for contractors. With this strategic and proactive approach to construction debris, contractors can make debris removal and disposal easier on themselves. In addition, they can help the environment and even make some money.
Here are some ideas for builders and contractors to create a strategy 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.
A variety of construction waste materials can be recycled at facilities that provide that service. Examples include:
- 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 your construction waste really does make a difference. It is estimated that an area of 4, 300 acres at a depth of 50 feet can be saved from landfill use annually. That's the equivalent to more than 3 billion square yards of landfill space each year!
Outsourcing Your Construction Debris Removal
Trash hauling and site clean-up might be considered “part of the job” for contractors, but 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.
Junk King provides an efficient, safe and eco-friendly construction debris disposal service so you don’t need to worry about the pick up or disposal of the debris after the project is complete. Whether you need our services several times during a construction project or just once after it is complete, our hauling professionals will ensure that the construction debris is out of your way so that you can get on with the job.
Our professional and insured hauling team will show up at your site; we call 15 minutes before we arrive on and we’ll give you a free estimate based on how much room your debris takes up in our truck. You point and we haul the construction waste into our junk removal trucks, with no hidden fees.
How can you get us on the site for construction debris disposal? It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3. You make an appointment by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865).