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Managing Construction Waste

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  • 12-04-2021
Managing Construction Waste

How do you manage waste on a construction site?

What Is Construction Waste? 

Construction waste is generalised as unneeded or unwanted material created by a construction and demolition industry. Although it is impossible for a construction site not to produce any waste, it is always possible to limit waste in a landfill site. 

All companies are legally required to reduce, reuse and recycle any waste they can get before disposal.  All businesses must ensure that the waste they produce is handled correctly and with care, so they do not affect the environment around them with harmful materials. 

The Environmental Agency usually enforces this, and failing to comply with these duties will most likely end with a hefty fine.

How Can We Reduce Our Construction Waste? 

There are many ways in which you can reduce the construction waste generated by the construction industry. Some ways in which you can reduce the amount of waste generator by your construction sites include: Planning Ahead: Planning ahead of time allows you to get a better grasp of what you require and what the best outcome could be. Planning ahead can also reduce the mistakes created on the site, which results in materials being lost.  

Part of this planning could include conducting regular inventory checks to understand what you have in stock and what can be used. This also allows you to know whether you require more or less material. Ensure that there are reuse and recycle bins on site. Also, deciding before the project begins which materials are reusable and recyclable can be beneficial as well.  

Deconstruction vs Demolition: Deconstructing the building instead of demolishing it would be more beneficial to find reusable and recyclable waste materials, which reduces the amount of construction waste created.  Also, deconstruction can seem better for the environment, reducing potentially harmful dust being spread around. 

Reuse and donate materials: Reusing many good material pieces that haven't been used is essential to ensure as little waste is created as possible. Also, keeping the material you have left in good condition is critical if you want it to be useful later. The construction site is usually responsible for the recovery and reuse of any materials that can be used for other projects. Some industries donate some to other organisations that require them.   

You could also donate to other local organisations that might need some materials such as hardware, appliances, etc. This means fewer materials are being wasted.

How do you manage waste on a construction site?

Recycling: Recycling materials that cannot be reused is vital as many things are chucked into a dumpster but could be recycled instead. You can place items such as sinks and baths in the recycle bin instead.

What Are The Different Types Of Construction Waste? 

There are many different types of waste on construction sites that are produced by the industries. Depending on what the company is doing, you can scavenge later on to get some of the materials back for later use or disposal to reduce the likelihood of health concerns returning. 

Some of these types of construction waste include the following:

Building Materials: All types of projects, including demolition, construction, remodelling, and restoration, produce a lot of building material waste. Some examples of this waste are nails, rebar, wood electrical wiring, bricks, cement, and insulation. Some of these materials that are not used or damaged can still be recycled or reused for other projects later on.  

Other materials like cement and bricks can be crushed up and reused on other buildings or construction projects. Many resources used for construction or deconstruction can be obtained towards the end of the project and used for other projects later on.

Dredging Materials: Dredging materials are usually materials/objects replaced during the demolition or construction sites. This covers a few materials, including; rocks, rubble, dirt, soil, trees, and tree stumps. You can use waste management companies to provide waste disposal and trash removal services. 

What Are The Different Types Of Construction Waste?

Hazardous Waste: It is pretty well known that many sites for construction, demolition, remodelling, and restoration produce all types of dangerous waste that can create serious health concerns. When one of these projects is being carried out, you must understand that many kinds of hazardous waste can be produced from the disposal of off-cuts and unused materials. 

Any contractor you hire should know that some hazardous materials can include asbestos, lead, plasterboard, solvents, mercury, aerosol cans, and paint thinners. The disposal of these hazardous wastes must be done following governmental laws, and fines will be passed down if they are not followed correctly.

Concrete, Tiles, Bricks, And Ceramics: Using reinforced concrete as a better base for new concrete mixes is good after being crushed and meets the quality standards. Some of the materials that are left on the site can also be used as sub-base materials. To keep the transport costs low, you could have a reinforced concrete crushing plant that you hired delivered to you on-site, which reduces vehicle movements. Reusing these materials can be very cost-effective and make the outcome seem a bit stronger than before. 

Concrete, Tiles, Bricks, And Ceramics construction waste

Plastic: Many construction sites can create a large quantity of plastic waste. All types of materials can have plastic within them and cover the materials for new houses. When making the waste management plans for the construction sites' waste, you must ensure that you have a proper way to dispose of things like PVC siding, PEX pipes, styrofoam, and other plastic types. 

For construction sites, a decent amount of the plastic found can be used to package the resources used. Many types of materials that are not weatherproof, such as certain types of metals or wood, will arrive in plastic raping to protect them. 

Paint and Varnishes: Some of these paints and varnishes which contain organic solvents and other hazardous substances are classed as unsafe and can affect your health. Some old lead from stripping down the building or gathered in other debris pieces would be under the hazardous category. 

How Do You Dispose Of Construction Waste?

If the construction waste you have created cannot be reused, reduced, or recycled by yourself, you should then have it disposed of using skips. If you plan on disposing of hazardous, non-hazardous, and recyclable materials, they should all be placed in different skip containers. Also, any waste that is removed from the premises must have a transfer note provided by law.

There are a few things that the transfer not must include:

  A waste classification code

  The type of business or premises where the waste was created. 

  The names of the substances  

  What type of process produced this waste 

  Whether the substances are hazardous or not 

  Any requirements, particular problems, or knowledge that is related to the waste.

How Do You Dispose Of Construction Waste?

The construction company and the waste management company must have a signed copy of the waste transfer note for at least two years. 

Do You Need Waste Removal For Building Sites? 

 In short, a building or construction site can't work without creating some waste. Because of this waste being produced by your construction site, you are legally required to reduce, reuse and recycle any waste that you can.   

Benefits to Construction Waste Management 

There are a few benefits to construction waste management. Some of the services to managing the construction waste include:

Do You Need Waste Removal For Building Sites

  Compliance

The waste regulations 2011 for England and Wales require that all businesses minimise their waste using waste management. A waste transfer note is also required, by law, for both the construction company and waste management company to keep for at least two years after the transfer. 

  Lower Cost

By reusing as much material as possible, you often reduce the number of materials you need to buy for another project. You will reduce the amount of money you pay for removing the waste as you will usually need to pay extra per tonne. By reusing as much material as possible, you are reducing the construction cost on the business.

  Health & Safety

Having a good waste management plan for the storage of potentially hazardous materials will reduce someone's potential to get hurt.

  Positive Reputation

Running an environmentally friendly construction site is starting to become more critical. Showing a commitment to assisting the environment will help to build a positive reputation. Having a good waste management plan will assist in this. 


If you are interested in managing construction waste you may need to hire a skip for your building project. Find out more about  commercial skip hire in Washington, Durham, Tyne and Wear.