In a world of finite resources, it’s difficult to understand how we can keep producing the materials required to build new constructions to sustain a growing population. It’s certainly true that we will one day run out of precious metals and other materials needed by the building sector, which is just one reason why we ought to take waste reduction and recycling seriously.
In Australia, the population grew by 28 percent between 1996 and 2015, but the amount of waste we produce rose by 170 percent. Up to half of that junk ends up in landfills, which damage local ecosystems, water and air quality, and the environment, and unfortunately, up to 42 percent of all waste generated by the construction industry ends up in a landfill.
In fact, the building sector is one of the largest contributors of waste to Australia’s landfills, so if we want to work towards a sustainable future and a greener world, we need to address the problem sooner rather than later. If we want to minimise our dependency on landfills, we must first understand how to reduce the amount of waste we generate
Fortunately, the benefits of waste reduction don’t stop at a healthier environment – there are also plenty of business advantages, such as saved time and minimised expenditure. At Allmetro Bins, we take our duty to recycle as much as possible seriously, and in this article, we’re going to tell you how to generate less waste and manage it responsibly.
What Can Be Recycled?
Like all good things, managing construction waste responsibly starts with making a plan, but it’s crucial to know what materials are recyclable first. Almost all materials used by the building sector are recyclable, and such materials include:
- Metal (both non-ferrous and ferrous)
- Wood (provided it isn’t painted or stained)
- Window glass
- Asphalt roofing
Some recyclable materials aren’t included in the list above, but the materials that made it onto our list are abundant in construction yards. If possible, you should try and buy recycled versions of said materials to increase demand for recycling in general. If you’re demolishing a building, you should try to salvage as much as possible so that other industries can capitalise on construction waste and become more environmentally friendly in the process.
Include Waste Management in the Pre-Planning Stages
It’s wise to make a plan from the offset that takes waste management into account. Of course, it’s crucial to recycle wherever possible, but it’s better to eliminate the need to recycle to minimise the amount of waste you produce. Follow these steps before construction begins, and you will reduce the volume of junk generated
- Ensure the building dimensions correspond with industry standard material sizes, particularly lumber, to ensure no leftover materials go to waste.
- Do your best only to order the materials you require. Avoiding having excess materials reduces the chances of them being thrown into a landfill needlessly.
- Encourage your suppliers to stop using too much packaging unnecessarily. Alternatively, ask them to provide recyclable packaging that you can salvage after unpacking your materials.
- If possible, find out whether your resource providers are willing to buy back unused resources (doing so can be beneficial for both you and the suppliers)
- Store all materials responsibly so that nothing sustains damage.
- Estimate the amount of junk your project is likely to produce and the cost of removing it. Consider multiple methods of trash disposal to make a cost-effective plan.
Some people believe it’s better to be left with too much than to have too little, but such an outlook can result in more waste being generated than necessary. Try to find suppliers that can make same or next day deliveries in case you find yourself short, but avoid ordering more resources than you think you need.
On-Site Waste Management
Naturally, you need a way to manage junk as it’s generated, and there are lots of things you can do to ensure everybody sticks to the plan and disposes of waste safely and responsibly. Keep these tips in mind, and your construction firm will soon be greener significantly.
- Organise your waste receptacles into three categories: recyclable, reusable, and trash.
- If keeping all the different materials separate isn’t feasible, at least try to ensure all recyclable junk ends up in the same receptacle, though sorting it before it’s collected can help you reduce costs.
- Try to salvage as many non-recyclable items, such as doors and windows, as you can when remodelling or demolishing a building for use in future constructions.
- Don’t dispose of leftover materials that no longer have a use in your current project – they may come in handy later.
- Save excess insulation for wall cavities and attics in future constructions.
- Transform any clipped trees and branches removed from your site into landscaping mulch.
- Try and limit your use of laminates, adhesives, and other finishes that prevent materials from being recyclable.
- Bear in mind that temporary support systems often get discarded following a project, so consider alternative options when applicable.
Trust Us with Your Leftover Waste
By familiarising yourself with the tips detailed in the previous sections, you can help minimise our dependency on toxic landfills as well as cut your costs in the process. However, regardless of how well you manage waste, you will be left with a large volume of junk after completing your project. Fortunately, this is when recycling and waste management becomes simple because you don’t need to take responsibility if you place your trust in our professionals instead.
At Allmetro Bins, we deliver skips of various sizes to construction yards for them to keep for as long as required, and then we retrieve or change the receptacles as needed so that you always have a way to dispose of waste quickly. More importantly, we return the junk to our sorting facilities and do our best to separate the trash from the recyclable materials, helping you to do your part for the environment without doing any of the heavy lifting. Contact us today to learn more about skip bin hire in Perth.