Skip to main content
Best Practices

Construction Waste Management Tips

ASC BestPractices Index V1

Tips for Construction Waste Management
Construction projects typically generate significant amounts of waste. Properly handling and removing that waste is a key part of construction site management and crucial for a successful building project and for protecting surrounding communities. To help you increase the sustainability of your operation and avoid fines and penalties from regulatory organizations, follow our tips and best practices below.

Common forms of waste on a construction site
The nature of waste produced on construction or demolition sites varies based on the specific project. However, typical types of construction waste include:

  • Surplus building materials– such as concrete, wood, metal, and bricks
  • Packaging materials used for supplies
  • Organic waste – including rocks, soil, and vegetation cleared from the site
  • Residual insulation, wiring, plaster, and glass
  • Potentially hazardous materials – such as lead, asbestos, plasterboard, paint thinners, strippers, mercury, fluorescent bulbs, and aerosol cans

Craft a comprehensive waste management plan
A critical step in construction site management and for ensuring proper waste handling is the creation of a detailed action plan before the project begins. Preliminary considerations, like accurately estimating the amount of on-site materials required, can reduce overall waste generation and equip you for efficient disposal. A robust construction waste management plan should, at a minimum, cover:

  • Potential sources of waste
  • A site plan outlining designated areas for recycling, compost, and waste storage
  • A list of recyclable materials
  • Special procedures for handling hazardous waste
  • Identification of responsible parties for waste collection, storage, and transportation

Choose the right service providers
Crucial for construction site management is selecting the best vendors for the job. For construction waste management, it is vital to choose a vendor that can adapt to changing project conditions and requirements. Reputable waste vendors should provide containers and the flexibility to remove recyclables and waste promptly, preventing accumulation. When evaluating vendors, scrutinize their safety records and regulatory compliance to ensure proper handling of various types of waste.

Minimize material packaging
A substantial portion of solid waste on construction sites comes from the packaging of building materials. Purchasing supplies in bulk reduces waste compared to individually packaged materials, thereby cutting overall removal costs. Prioritizing recyclable and reusable packaging, such as barrels and buckets that can be repurposed for storage, is recommended.

Take advantage of recycling opportunities
In construction site management, it is crucial to recognize that many building components and construction debris can be recycled. Concrete and rubble can be transformed into aggregate and concrete products, while wood can find new life as engineered wood products or furniture. Metals like steel, copper, and brass are valuable resources for recycling. Recycling not only reduces waste but can also create additional revenue streams by selling scrap and excess materials.

Understand hazardous and nonhazardous waste
Effective construction site management involves the safe handling of both hazardous and nonhazardous waste. Various materials may contain hazardous substances, necessitating proper identification and disposal procedures. It is crucial to understand whether the waste is hazardous or nonhazardous, and comply with the required procedures for each type. While waste handling providers can assist in recognizing, separating, and disposing of both types, responsibility for proper disposal of hazardous waste ultimately lies with the generator.

If you have any questions about construction waste management or construction site management in general, contact our team today!.