In the wake of an increased sustainability focus, many companies are focusing their attention on waste management. Having a well-thought-out plan for reducing, handling and disposing of waste helps keep projects running on time and budget, while also maintaining the environment.
We’ve consulted experts from The ReUse People, Recycling Certified Institute and the National Waste and Recycling Association to create this article, giving you some tips on creating a successful waste management plan for your next project.
Developing a waste management plan is essential to help your construction site stay organized and productive. It is an integral part of the overall design and planning process, and it will ultimately help your business save money by avoiding the high costs associated with wasted materials, resources, and space.
A construction waste management plan can reduce the amount of waste that is generated during a building renovation or land clearing project. It is a detailed outline of the types and percentages of waste that will be generated and what steps you will take to reduce it.
In addition to identifying the types of waste that will be created during a project, a good waste management plan should include strategies for recycling and reusing as much of your waste as possible. By following the 3 R’s (reduce, recycle, and reuse), you can significantly decrease your waste disposal costs. This means incorporating methods for separating out paper, metals and other recyclables into separate containers, and making sure that they are handled appropriately.
Once your plan is finalized, it’s important to share it with all members of your team. This will ensure that everyone understands their role in reducing waste on the jobsite. Assigning one person to be in charge of implementing the waste management plan will make it easier to stay on track, and this individual should be enthusiastic and committed to their task.
Another aspect of a successful waste management plan is having a national waste partner to provide guidance and support for your project. The right company will be able to match your project’s diversion rates and materials with the appropriate recycling or disposal facilities in your area. This will help you avoid the possibility of having your waste shipped to a facility where it will not be processed properly, or worse, sent to a landfill.
The last step of a successful waste management plan is ensuring that your employees are aware of your expectations and procedures. It’s helpful to communicate where the waste bins will be located, what materials will be recycled and what your goals are for achieving high diversion rates. This information can be included in employee handbooks or displayed on an employee bulletin board.
Depending on your facility, you may have to break your waste streams down into more specific categories such as biologically contaminated waste or electronic waste. These waste streams require specialized professional services to handle safely. In addition to identifying these streams, your waste management plan should also include information on what steps you will take to reduce contaminant exposure and provide your employees with adequate personal protective equipment.