December 22

11 Best Practices for Establishing a Sensible Site Waste Management Plan

Reducing C&D waste at your worksite can save your business money and allow it to put in more competitive bids for future projects. Your business can also boost its environmental and social responsibility credentials by reducing the waste that it produces. The best way to reduce waste at your worksite is to prevent it from happening in the first place. A site waste management plan helps you do just this while yielding numerous other benefits for your business.

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What is a Site Waste Management Plan and Why Does Your Company Need One?

A site waste management plan (SWMP) outlines how you will conduct your C&D disposal in an ethical, socially-responsible, and cost-effective manner. An average of around 9 percent of materials purchased for a construction project go to waste, which can significantly raise costs for each project. Demolition projects can create hazardous waste that may contaminate otherwise salvageable, used building materials. A SWMP can reduce the overall costs on materials and prevent loss via contamination from material that can be saved from the landfill.

Benefits of a Material Management Plan

A material management plan for C&D waste can offer a surprising number of benefits, including the following:

  • Lower overall project costs due to fewer material purchases
  • Materials that may be sold for reuse
  • Less spending on waste removal
  • Fewer on-site accidents
  • Greater worksite efficiency
  • Lower CO2 emissions
  • A way to achieve environmental protection and conservation targets
  • Improved corporate social responsibility
  • Less waste impacting the community

Create a Sensible Site Waste Management Plan to Minimize Waste

Here are some best practices to follow when creating your own SWMP.

Create a Well-Designed Site

The design of your site can either contribute to C&D waste or minimize it. Create areas designated for specific actions, such as receiving materials, sorting, storing, and holding them for disposal by type. Plan to have bins for waste and recycling in multiple spots on your site, such as high-traffic areas and near active construction or demolition. The design of your site can also improve your overall efficiency, making your company more competitive when you bid.

Make a Timeline

The type of waste your worksite will generate may differ at each stage of a project. Plan ahead so you can secure the correct waste disposal facilities on-premises when you need them. By following a timeline, you can also reduce the need to go back and fix a mistake, which can further cut down on waste.

Plan to Reduce Waste

The easiest way to handle waste is to make sure it’s never created in the first place. Look through your production process to find out where wastage could be occurring. For example, if you’re ordering all of your concrete at once, consider ordering it in batches as needed to reduce the likelihood of having excess.

Train Your Staff

Your SWMP is only as good as its implementation, which ultimately depends on the level of training you give to your staff. Train them how to handle C&D materials to maximize their reuse, reduction, and potential for recycling. If you notice someone improperly disposing of materials, train them on the correct way to do it. Take pictures or save examples of wastage to use as discussion during training sessions.

Use Pictures or Videos

It’s possible that not everyone on your worksite speaks English. Use pictures or videos to help demonstrate how to dispose of waste and recyclable C&D material on the appropriate bins and during training. The quality of demolition and construction services you offer will improve once everyone on your team knows how to abide by the SWMP.

Set Responsibilities

What are the responsibilities of each person on your team with respect to the SWMP? Determine what’s expected of each person and clearly communicate that to them. You should also decide which team members are responsible for setting up and moving waste and recyclable containers as needed.

Make it Easy to Participate

It should be easy for your team and stakeholders to participate in a SWMP. Make sure you have enough of the right type of C&D waste containers on-site that are easily accessible to everyone who needs them. Put waste and recycling containers near one another to reduce contamination. Clearly, consistently, and appropriately label the containers so costly mix-ups don’t occur or are minimized.

Think of How to Reuse, Donate, or Sell Materials

Consider how waste materials can be reused on- or off-site and where to safely store those that can. Are there materials that could be used by local schools, gardens, community centers, or other organizations? Will your supplier accept returned unused materials or those in packaging or shipping? Return, sell, or donate unused and salvaged materials.

Conduct Waste Audits

Throughout your project, periodically check to see how much material your site is using and how much C&D waste is being created. This can help you detect performance issues and inefficiencies, and to see which processes are working to reduce or eliminate waste. As your project winds down, do a waste audit in the last two to four weeks to determine how much more you may produce and how to handle it.

Send the C&D Waste to a C&D Waste Facility, Like Ours

A SWMP allows you to easily haul your waste to a C&D facility instead of a landfill, which can save you time and money. Due to the waste they handle, C&D facilities may be located within a city, making them closer to your worksite and safer to use. Coastal Recycling Services is a centrally-located Jacksonville recycling center that can accept your C&D waste for a low fee. Instead of driving to a landfill, navigating muddy roads, and spending 45 minutes waiting to dump your waste, we can take everything you have in just a few minutes.

Communicate This Plan to Every Team Member or Stakeholder Involved in the Project

Your SWMP is just a plan unless it has buy-in from your team members and the stakeholders affected by it. It’s your job to communicate this plan to them so they know what the process entails and the importance of following it. This also helps them to become personally invested in the plan, which can increase overall support for and compliance with it. 

Local C&D Waste Facility in Jacksonville, Florida, for Contractors

A SWMP plan can greatly reduce the amount of waste your worksite generates and improves overall safety. You can also raise your profile as an environmentally and socially-responsible company with a plan to minimize your waste and reuse as much material as possible. If you have C&D waste in the Jacksonville area, Coastal Recycling Services is ready to handle it for you. A trip to our facility can help to make your business more competitive, efficient, and environmentally-friendly!


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