In today’s everchanging landscape, more and more construction and demolition companies are being confronted with logistical and financial challenges that accompany today’s environmental responsibility. One of those main challenges is waste management.
Waste reaches about 2.2 billion tonnes per year and is expected to reach exponential levels by 2025! Much of this waste comes from construction and demolition projects, and with regulations and technologies constantly in flux, even well-intended businesses can make mistakes or be at a loss for basic information.
If you’ve been asking questions like these: What is recyclable? What isn’t recyclable? What do I do with all this packaging? How can I save costs while also adhering to my eco-friendly client?, keep reading.
Here are our 8 best tips for cutting costs while minimizing your company’s C&D waste:
1. Salvage Used C&D Materials
One way to reduce construction waste is by salvaging materials. Find new ways to re-use C&D materials that you already have. This could mean favoring deconstruction over demolition on some projects, or sourcing materials from architectural salvage companies.
2. Source Reduction
Source reduction is all about preventing waste from being generated in the first place. This is done through innovative design and creative thinking before materials are produced and distributed. Much of this work will be done by architects and product designers, but construction and demolition businesses can do their part, too.
For C&D businesses, consider working with design and engineering businesses that value source reduction and environmentally friendly designs and practices such as the preservation of existing buildings and designing new buildings for adaptability. C&D businesses can also contribute by prioritizing disassembly over demolition, employing alternative framing techniques, and reducing interior finishes.
3. Ask for Reduced Packaging
Although protecting materials is vital, material packaging can be cumbersome, copious, and add costs to disposal. About 10-12% of construction waste stems from just cardboard! To reduce packaging, consider purchasing materials in bulk, using vendors who use returnable or reusable containers. Better yet, ask your vendors if they can provide your materials with less or no packaging.
4. Store Your Materials Properly
Natural disasters, such as flooding, and theft can negatively impact a business if materials are not appropriately stored. While it’s not always possible to store materials on-site, investing in some reusable storage and security can help protect it and minimize the chances of damage or theft. You could invest in shelving that keeps materials off the floor and out of flood zones. For theft, you coud purchase titanium locks and motion-sensor cameras that alert your phone when motion or tampering is detected.
5. Plan Ahead with a Waste Management Program
A waste management program can help to identify potential shortcomings or opportunities. It tackles logistics, such as a designated on-site spaces for recycling, compost, and waste bins; what materials are essential versus non-essential; and what materials are recyclable or salvageable.
But, it’s not just logistics and strategy. A strong waste management program will also detail how to execute your strategy, such as training employees and assigning responsibilities for waste management, and including videos and photos for non-English speaking employees.
Not sure where to begin with creating your waste management program? Here are some basic guidelines for creating that plan, which goes into more detail on how to best implement and practice that new waste management plan on a daily-basis.
6. Organize Your Construction Site
An inefficient team can add unnecessary labor and time. By organizing your construction sites and labeling recyclables versus waste containers, your business can increase productivity and reduce the number of mistakes on site. Organizing your site can also help prevent confusion, injury, or frustration, saving your business time and money as well as looking out for the wellbeing of employees.
7. Deconstruction Over Demolition
Before you start demolishing everything on sight, first consider what can be salvaged. Choosing to deconstruct salvageable materials before starting the demolition process can reduce waste amounts and cut waste management costs, as well as cut costs from the project’s construction budget by salvaging and reusing materials instead of purchasing new.
8. Recycle First, Dumpster Second
Did you know concrete and rubble can be recycled to create asphalt? That old wood can be used to create mulch, compost, and even new furniture?
To avoid overlooking recyclable materials, we recommend using the “recycle first, dumpster second” method. By recycling first, you will have a better and more full-understanding of what can or cannot be recycled. Check out this list of recyclable C&D materials to add to your waste management program materials.
9. Choose Vendors Wisely
When choosing a vendor, it’s important to be forward-thinking and judicious. Think of all the material vendors, security vendors, recycling companies, construction crews, etc.
Do they support your long-term waste management program? Do they offer ways to reduce the amount of waste that your projects generate? Do they offer reduced rates for anyone looking to implement more eco-friendly efforts?
The best vendors are those who can handle the scope of your projects while also helping you to cut costs and support your sustainable waste management program.
10. Contract with a C&D Recycling and Waste Company
Finally, consider contracting with a local C&D recycling and waste management company that helps to support your goals and needs.
Leave Your Construction Waste to Us!
CRS can help you identify and take advantage of waste management opportunities. With state-of-the-art facilities including paved roads and a focus on eco-friendly endeavors, CRS has a combined 100 years of experience in our industry. We help you do the heavy work of sorting, transferring, recycling, and properly disposing of demolition and construction debris.
By contracting with us, we are poised to guide you through the waste management process and eliminate the hassle, costs, and time. Get in touch with us today to learn more about partnering with Jacksonville’s premier C&D recycling company, Coastal Recycling Services.