At home so many of us make an effort to reduce, reuse and recycle. Yet at construction worksites, the problem of onsite waste management persists. And with many residential developments adopting narrow lot frontages and higher density is an important issue for the residential building industry. In recent years, we have witnessed residential development in several larger metropolitan centres move toward narrower lot frontages, and higher density.
Usually, a waste management plan must be submitted before the commencement of work. While controlling onsite waste guarantees a good environmental outcome, it can pose problems for builders as they deal with challenging worksites, waste levies, council fees, mixed materials and excess in supply.
A growing number of regional government authorities are applying more stringent restrictions regarding how waste must be stored and sorted onsite. It is commonly known that landfill space is approaching capacity in a number of metropolitan areas and that waste levies now come as a part of business costs. So now, the building industry must strike a balance between the need to build and renovate houses at an affordable price and efficiently – while rendering minimal the environmental effects.
Luckily, onsite waste management practices are available to reduce fees and save money. These include:
Onsite sorting, a practice that involves a dedicated waste section with bins, skips or bags to fit different varieties of discarded building materials. An educated waste management team can get the job done, without employing a special team.
Mixed building waste generally brings about the costliest waste disposal fee, but clean fill concrete and brick rubble waste, or timber, will be far less expensive. Today’s waste transfer stations have devoted drop off areas for separated waste and generally these are available at no charge – or for materials, like scrap metal, you may be compensated for dropping off.
And, of course, training must lie at the core of the change. The challenge of multiple materials brings many people back to the easy choice presented by a bin. This brings us back to the original plan of having a plan and sticking to it. Also, educate all workers regarding the plan. Make people understand why it’s a good idea, pointing out economic benefits.
Deconstruction is constructive. Demolition has no long-term benefit and contributes to pollution. Deconstruction provides for a safer environment and has an elevated potential to reuse or sell recycled materials ultimately.
Have a plan regarding waste reduction, cost savings, managing timber to plasterboard, and site clean-up.
The development of a circular economy will propel a world in which we avoid waste, enhance resource recovery, increase utilisation of recycled materials, build demand and markets for recycled products, improved management of materials, better innovation, investment and make better consumer decisions.
It’s for the good of the world.