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A Guide to Construction Waste Disposal

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30% of all building materials delivered to a typical construction site may end up as waste.

That’s a lot of construction waste! So what can you do about all the construction waste?

Gathering construction waste is an essential part of construction management. If construction waste stays on-site, it can be hazardous and difficult to remove. For this reason, all construction projects should have a plan for the proper disposal of construction wastes.

Here is a guide to construction waste disposal that will help you find the best way to get rid of construction waste responsibly and legally.

Know What Construction Waste You Have

So how do you get construction wastes off of your site? The first step is to identify the construction waste.

There are three types of construction materials:

  • Hazardous
  • Non-hazardous
  • Inert/rocky material

Hazardous materials include liquids like paint thinners, asbestos insulation, combustible items, and radioactive products. These should all go in a separate pile so special disposal companies can pick them up.

Non-hazardous construction waste includes materials like wood, drywall, and recyclable construction materials. These should be stacked for pick up by recycling companies.

Inert/rocky construction wastes include soil and gravel that you can’t recycle or reuse in the project. This type of construction waste is best disposed of with landfill services.

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Know Who Will Transport the Construction Waste

Once you identify construction wastes, it’s time to decide who will remove the waste.

There are three different types of waste transporters:

  • Construction/demolition specialists
  • Hazardous material disposal companies
  • Landfill services

Demolition specialists remove construction debris using cranes or other construction equipment. They operate with large dump trucks designed for dumping heavy objects.

Hazardous material disposal companies deal with hazardous construction wastes. They can ensure those materials are disposed of properly, safely, and legally.

Landfill services transport construction waste materials to a disposal facility. They can help you get rid of waste in an environmentally responsible way.

The best option will always depend on the type, quantity, and location of construction materials.

Check for Local Requirements

It’s also very important to check construction waste disposal guidelines in your local area before you begin. Some construction materials can’t be disposed of at certain types of facilities. Or they may even be subject to recycling rules that will make them more expensive than other options.

Check with the building department about any specific requirements. That way, you can be sure to do it right!

Make Sure You Get Everything

Before waste removal begins, make sure you have everything out in the open so it can be identified. That way, you’ll know exactly what was removed from your site and which waste disposal service is responsible for getting rid of each item. This will help avoid any future confusion or miscommunication.

It’s also a good idea to take pictures of construction waste piles before they’re gone. This ensures none gets left behind accidentally during waste transportation. If anything goes missing, photos could help identify where the missing materials went.

Once all wastes have been properly discharged, make sure to keep records on file. These records should include waste disposal receipts and waste consignment notes. That way you can identify materials removed in case of an inspection.

Construction Disposal Methods

There are a few waste disposal methods you can choose from when it comes to construction waste.

Recycling

This involves sorting your waste for items that can’t just be thrown away with the regular garbage. Recyclable material will then either get reused locally or sent off for processing into new products.

Items that cannot be recycled may end up going into landfills. That will depend on their hazardous characteristics and what facilities exist to process them safely.

Reuse

Construction waste materials can be reused for other building projects. Reused items must still meet all relevant safety standards, so employees aren’t exposed to risks.

Treatment and Disposal

Construction waste materials that are hazardous may need to go through a special treatment process first.

Treatment processes vary depending on the waste material and its specific characteristics. Commonly, it involves some type of chemical stabilization like cementing waste in place with asphalt binder glue.

Landfills

This is probably what most people think about when it comes to construction waste disposal. Taking items to landfills for burial and permanent storage.

Landfilling wastes is an effective way to disposes of large amounts at once without worrying about recycling them. However, you do run the risk of polluting groundwater supplies. You’ll be burying potentially harmful chemicals underground where they’ll remain indefinitely.

Common Types of Construction Waste

It’s important to know the waste types you’re dealing with before choosing how to dispose of them. Construction waste can be divided into:

Concrete waste: Waste like old foundations and concrete slabs that are no longer useful for construction.

Asphalt waste: Asphalt materials from road building, roofing, and paving projects.

Wood waste: Waste wood material such as debris, fallen trees, or sawdust left over after cutting through beams during a project.

Metal waste: Scrap metal pieces left over from fabrication jobs on site. Stamped sheet metals often have reusable value, so you don’t want to throw them away.

Construction Waste Disposal Explained

Construction waste management is a critical part of construction projects. Ensure you know how to get rid of waste properly so your site doesn’t become an eyesore or safety hazard.

We hope we’ve given you a good idea of how construction waste disposal works. For more informative guides, stay tuned for future blog posts.

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