It’s no secret that the construction industry produces a lot of waste. When you do any kind of demolition as part of your business, you’re much more likely to be taking tons of the debris to the landfill. If you’re starting to feel like this is just a part of your business, there may be another way. Here’s how you can evaluate your company’s waste production, with a few ways you can cut down on the excess.
Measure Waste Production
Figuring out how much you’re sending to the landfill might be easy or difficult, depending on the work you do and how you dispose of waste. Take a few months or even a year’s worth of projects and evaluate how much waste you create. Since about 90 percent of construction waste is through demolition, the amount of debris you’re dealing with will be much higher if you’re taking down buildings as well as creating new. Consider the mass and weight of the waste you get from a project. If it’s materials you bought, see how much of your purchase becomes waste. This will help you figure out how to cut back.
Consider Ways to Cut Back
Efficient construction processes are good for virtually everyone. When you look at how you waste time, energy or materials, you have an opportunity to cut down on unnecessary expenditures. You might be obtaining materials from a source that uses much more packaging. You could be cutting or shaping materials in a way that creates too many leftovers you can’t use. Cutting down on the supplies you buy because you’re using them better saves you money and space in the landfill.
Make Sustainability a Priority
The best product is one that lasts longer without needing to be demolished or rebuilt. While using sustainable materials is an important part of construction, sustainable construction is another way to keep debris out of the landfill. Once a building is a few decades old, experts have to evaluate the benefit of keeping the building upright compared to replacing it with something better, safer or more efficient. If you look at these aspects in your construction practices, you can consider adding new approaches that improve them. You may be able to build something that will last decades longer without needing complicated or expensive retrofits.
Look for Recycling Options
Reclaimed wood sounds like a fashion trend for high-end homeowners, but reuse is a good practice for most fields in construction. In many cases, you can take materials you remove and sell or donate them to organizations that repurpose them. There are rules for the ways that you can recycle debris, as well as the types of materials. For example, people can recycle concrete as long as it doesn’t have other elements like wood, paper or trash. Look for recycling centers near the jobsite to make transport that much easier.
Use Recycled Materials
For the greatest efficiency, you may be able to recycle and reuse some products while you are still on the jobsite. Concrete has been a nightmare for decades because it’s heavy, bulky and hard to reuse. Yet, people are finding new ways to work with it. With the right equipment, you can pulverize concrete into pieces that you can use as road base or to make new concrete. This dramatically cuts down on your material purchases and the energy spent shipping them. Since materials like wood and metal already have healthy markets for recycling, you can also look for supply companies that sell recycled materials.
Dealing with waste is just one part of running a contracting business. To explore our courses and find the construction field that’s right for you, contact CSLS today!