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Last edited 14 Jul 2022
Disposing of construction waste
We are all used to having a line of bins in our back gardens to help us sort and dispose of our waste properly. We are happy to separate our cardboard from our glass and our garden waste in a domestic setting, and it has now become second nature to us at home, but in the construction industry there is still some work to be done in order to achieve these same level of diligence.
Construction businesses know that they need to dispose of their waste, and most have some sort of system in place, but how often is this reviewed? The big question that construction companies now need to ask themselves is not whether they are disposing of waste but are they doing it correctly.
 Waste in construction
The construction industry is a huge producer of waste. It comes in many forms, but materials such as plastic are prevalent amongst this. We are now all aware of how difficult it can be to break down certain materials such as this, so if we are to avoid them having a negative impact on the environment, then they need to be disposed of properly.
Whilst many businesses now face levies for their use of plastic and are actually trying to cut it down, statistics have shown that the construction industry has actually increased its plastic waste output by more than 45% in just a two-year period. In addition to this, total wastage of all materials from the construction industry also increased by 2.23% over a four-year period.
As one of the biggest producers of plastic waste, the construction industry is now being forced to take a careful look at what it does with this if it is to avoid simply filling up landfill sites, shipping it overseas to countries such as China or dumping it into the oceans.
It is now down to construction companies to take a look at the waste that they are producing and look at how to dispose of it both correctly and responsibly. Any recyclable material needs to be identified and separated from the rest of your waste. It is no longer acceptable to bunch all waste together and wave goodbye to it when so much can be broken down and reused.
When it comes to construction waste management, your first thought should always be how you can reduce it. Look at ordering processes and packaging options to ensure that you do not have a site filled with materials that will never be used, and packaging that is difficult to get rid of.
If you can cut down what comes onto your site, it becomes much easier to reduce what you have to get rid of again. This is not only beneficial when it comes to reducing waste but in reducing costs too, so it can help your business in more than one way.
When you do deal with your waste, you need to make sure that you are declaring it properly. A transfer note should show that you have considered the waste hierarchy before disposing of it in order to avoid being subject to fines and penalties.
Not all construction waste is easy to dispose of, and there are many different protocols that you need to be aware of. Materials such as paint and asbestos as well as other hazardous materials all need special processes which are detailed in the EWC codes. These classify waste into different categories in order for them to be correctly and efficiently recorded and monitored. When your waste is properly marked, it can then be disposed of in the correct way.
Construction waste disposal not only needs the right materials to be identified, but the right equipment to deal with it as well. Skips and bins allow sites to effectively separate waste in large quantities in order to avoid the need to sort it when it is time for disposal, therefore saving both time and money. A baler can also help to manage waste on site and reduce the cost of transporting it.
Employing the services of a waste management company can seem like an additional cost but it is a great way to ensure that everything is done properly. When you have to consider general waste, hazardous waste and recyclable waste, it is important that it is all handled in the right way, and a company who specialise in this can make the process much easier.
The most obvious benefit of disposing of your construction waste correctly is the avoidance of any fines. Failure to dispose of any materials, but particularly hazardous ones, comes with some harsh penalties attached to it which can be very damaging for your business.
We all now have to take some responsibility for the world that we live in and the state that we leave it in. All forms of industry have to play a part in this and disposing of the copious amounts of waste created by the construction industry is part of your corporate responsibility.
Many businesses are now looking for reputable and responsible companies to work with in their construction projects, not only for their image, but also for their cost base too, so it can help you to vie for competition too.
Waste management is not the most exciting subject, but it is an essential one in the construction industry. As one of the largest producers of waste in the world, it is important to now take the impact of construction seriously and work together to make sure that waste is handled in the right way.
There are now waste management services available who can help you to achieve this, taking away many of the headaches that a necessary waste strategy can produce, making sure that your business is responsible, sustainable and within the law with every project that it embarks upon.
- Circular economy.
- Construction skip.
- Construction waste.
- Definition of waste: Code of practice.
- Hazardous waste management plan.
- How to conduct a pre-demolition audit.
- Landfill tax.
- Site Waste Management Plans - A Necessary Burden.
- Waste management plan for England.
- Waste management process.
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