How to minimise and contain waste on your construction site
Waste control is a significant cost issue for those in the construction industry, so it’s not surprising that according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, construction and demolition waste contributes to 40% of landfill waste. But it doesn’t have to be a costly headache for those in the industry, by creating a waste management strategy before works commence, you can help significantly reduce waste and costs on your next construction project.
Waste segregation and storage
Implement a new procedure where staff sort waste into categories as they go. Have a selection of rubbish cages available on site to sort your waste into – cardboard, timber, concrete, plastic, landfill etc. Rubbish cages are a great option for construction companies as they can easily be dismantled and flat packed for storage and future use. Their reusability also makes them a much cheaper option than skip hire.
When sorting your recycle waste for pick up, be sure to check with your local Waste Resource Recovery Centre to find out which products they have the capacity to recycle.
Use waste management companies
If time and space is an issue, engage the services of a licensed waste management company and let them take care of your waste and recycling disposal. There is a range of companies that specialize in assisting construction sites with recycling, hazardous waste and general waste disposal.
Consider keeping off-cuts of wood or metal instead of discarding them for recycle, these items can be used as test pieces on site. Same goes for old timber that you may be disposing of from a demolition site, there’s a high demand for reclaimed timber products for use in lots of creative project and people will pay a pretty penny for quality reclaimed timber.
Plan orders ahead
You can eliminate excess waste with careful project planning. Order your materials as accurately as possible and consider getting ‘just-in-time’ deliveries. Just-in-time deliveries help to decrease waste because you are only ever ordering material as needed. This strategy also helps reduce the amount of storage that’s required onsite and eliminates the chances of stored material being damaged by weather or other unforeseen problems.
Manage packaging waste
A great deal of construction waste comes from packaging materials. If you can minimise the amount of packaging you receive to your building site then you are obviously reducing the amount of waste that you need to dispose of and in return will achieve a significant cost saving. Work with your supplies on reusing packaging, if it’s cared for properly there should be no reason why packaging cannot be used again. Pallets, for example, can be returned to the supplier for reuse, this should result in lower costs for both you and the supplier.
By applying these simple tips in practice on your building site, you’ll be able to better contain waste and reduce costs moving forward.