Making waste manageable
Sort onsite: This is achieved by a dedicated waste section with specific bins, skips or bags for different types of discarded building materials. A team that knows how to manage waste effectively can avoid the costs of hiring a specialised team to do this task for them or expensive tip fees if they just simply put every leftover scrap into a skip.
Mixed building waste usually incurs the most expensive waste disposal fee, but clean fill concrete and brick rubble waste, or timber, will be much cheaper. Modern waste transfer stations have dedicated drop off areas for separated waste and generally these are free – or for items, such as scrap metal, you may be paid to drop it off.
Train and explain: A project may start with the best of intentions, with areas created for separating waste and signs put up to inform trades onsite. But the challenge of so many different trades, with so many different materials and so little space on a building site, often brings people back to the simple option of throwing all discarded material in the bin. The key to cost-effective waste management is to have a plan at the start and stick to it. Educate everyone coming to site and take steps to make ‘doing the right thing’ as simple as possible.
The key to education is understanding why something should be done. When it comes to waste management, cost is king. Getting waste management right will save money for everyone. Getting it wrong leads to the opposite, with higher disposal costs and potential fines for poor site management.
Deconstruct instead of demolish: Demolition is a messy, polluting procedure that has far less long-term gain than precise deconstruction. Deconstruction allows for a safe environment and high potential to reuse or sell recycled materials in the process.
Have a comprehensive plan: As no single waste management approach guarantees significant waste reduction and cost savings, it is important that waste management is considered as an integral component when planning a residential development project. This should include giving consideration to the packaging of materials delivered to site, what you’ll do with material offcuts, from timber to plasterboard, and site clean-up at the end of the project. All these matters will have subtly different waste management requirements and their disposal may need to be planned at different times to ensure your site remains clean and safe for the duration of the project.