Construction Site Recycling Tips

Before building, think about waste reduction

Whether or not a project includes demolition, there will be abundant waste from the construction. The industry average for waste generated at new construction sites is six pounds per square foot. Most of this can be put to another use or recycled if you plan ahead.

First, ask your suppliers to deliver products with less or no packaging. When you order materials, ask if surplus can be returned. Think about what items are being taken down in the demolition. Are there items or materials that can be used in building the new project? For instance, can you use some of the 2 x 4's that are being taken out? For local salvage yards, check the RecycleWorks Database, under Construction: Salvage.

Make recycling part of the plan

Determine what materials will be the largest components of your project and concentrate on recycling these materials. Wood, concrete, dirt and asphalt will most likely make up the majority of your potential waste and are easily recycled or reused. Facilities that accept these items can be found in the RecycleWorks Database.

If you pay to have your waste hauled away, specifically designate that you want the loads or debris boxes taken to a recycling facility.

Keep the C&D recyclables separate from your garbage. Designate specific containers on site for certain materials and then place large, clear signs on the containers. Keeping materials separated at the site will allow more options for recycling and will lower your disposal costs. All facilities charge less for clean loads (only one material) of wood, greenwaste, concrete/asphalt, and dirt.

Educate your construction workers

Educate everyone involved in your project about the salvage, reuse and recycling aspects of your project. Print your container signs in as many languages as needed to reach all the workers. Encourage and acknowledge efforts that are made to recycle. Consider hanging the "Make Recycling Part of the Job" poster at your job site.

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