To sustain the demands of a growing population, the construction and demolition (C&D) industry must undergo continuous development. The world witnesses an unceasing expansion of buildings and infrastructure, ranging from residential spaces to various businesses.
However, this rampant growth also leads to a significant amount of avoidable waste. Shockingly, C&D waste contributes to 40% of the total solid waste generated globally each year. In the United States alone, this translates to nearly 100 million tons of waste!
While a certain degree of waste is inevitable, there exist numerous ways to curtail the staggering volume generated annually. In the following discussion, we will briefly explore several strategies that C&D companies of any size could adopt to enhance waste reduction and contribute to environmental preservation.
Before delving into waste-reducing strategies, it is essential to grasp the various factors behind the substantial amount of C&D waste. A primary cause is the absence of waste reduction measures during the design phase by architects. One study by environmental engineers estimated that this single aspect contributes to a significant 33% of all construction waste.
Other primary causes include design errors or changes, improper material handling and storage, poor site management, inefficient material processing, and a lack of information execution, such as knowledge of local recycling and disposal regulations and services.
Considering all these potential causes, coupled with the nature of demolition and construction, it becomes apparent why waste accumulates rapidly. Thankfully, there are various tactics that C&D companies can implement throughout the process. For instance, at the project’s outset, those in charge should formulate a comprehensive recycling and waste disposal plan based on the materials, project scale, and available waste disposal options in the area.
This plan should incorporate effective means to reduce the amount of waste generated and establish proper disposal methods. This may involve employing specialized trash and recycling pickup services, utilizing roll-off dumpsters designed for C&D waste, or compacting waste with a construction-grade compactor.
Another viable tactic is to consider deconstructing a building instead of conventional demolition. This approach reduces construction waste by facilitating a gentle tear down and removal of materials for reuse. Opting for deconstruction not only minimizes the resources needed for the project but also proves to be environmentally superior, releasing fewer toxic dust and heavy metals compared to traditional demolition practices.
These examples represent only a fraction of the waste-reducing strategies that C&D organizations should contemplate for future implementation. For more detailed information, please refer to the accompanying resource.
Author bio:- Marie Wickham’s journey to the role of Director of Marketing at Sourgum Waste was fueled by her commitment to sustainability and a wealth of marketing expertise. She joined Sourgum in June 2022, inspired by her passion for solving environmental challenges. Her prior roles in various industries from airlines to food e-commerce and online dating forged her prowess in driving growth and loyalty. Wickham now leverages her diverse experience to further Sourgum’s mission of eliminating waste and creating a cleaner world — one dumpster at a time.
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