Construction Waste

Construction Waste

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Just how much waste does the average construction site generate?

You’d think that there wouldn’t be much. After all, those materials are being used to build something. A demolition is where you’d expect to see a lot of rubbish being generated, as you’re tearing something apart to its raw components.

You’d be surprised at how much clutter and junk gets produced at the average construction site. It gets to the point where you call on guys like
for help managing it all. First, let’s look into what I like to call the “incidental” rubbish.

There’s always going to be rubbish generated by the crews. Whether it’s the discarded packaging of their meals to whatever they throw away as they work. That’s small-time, but it can pile up if you have a lot of workers and an extended construction period.

From there, you’re looking at waste generated by the work itself and the needs of the building.

Most of it will be from unused or excess materials. You’re thinking of nails, electrical wiring, shingles, roofing, and insulation. Construction crews want to have more of these than needed, to cover any errors during the work. What doesn’t get used may end up as rubbish.

Site preparation can also generate materials that end up in bins. Think of all the dredging that’s done to prepare a site. If there are any tree stumps or rubble, or if there was demolition work that preceded the construction, that’s a waste too.

If you encounter any lead, asbestos, or other hazardous materials, those are more than just waste. Those are materials that need to be appropriately contained. Disposal needs to be done correctly, to prevent any contamination.

Another material that can be toxic if not properly disposed of is plasterboard. Plasterboard is usually a safe material. However, in landfill conditions, it releases the poisonous hydrogen sulphide gas into the air.

Building waste also comes from raw materials. Brick, concrete, and wood that’s damaged or left unused are considered waste.

An estimated 10% to 15% of materials that are acquired for construction end up waste products. However, depending on the recycling procedures in place, a lot of it can be reduced.

Reduction begins with crushing the rubble. This makes it easier to reprocess and recycled. Wood can often be recovered and recycled as well. Any unused materials can be kept in storage, tapped for later projects. Through this, construction waste is reduced.