Construction Waste Reduction

Builders can reduce construction waste by reusing materials on-site, sorting waste, or contracting with a mixed-load hauler.

Recommended practices are:

• Define waste management goals in bid solicitations. For instance, the solicitations can specify an overall waste recycling/reuse goal of 50 percent or more and provide targets for categories such as wood products, concrete, and steel. Bid packages should supply contact information for local recyclers.

• Have the contractor draw up a draft waste management plan immediately after a bid is awarded.

• Prior to the start of construction, the general contractor should submit a final waste management plan that contains: (1) lists of materials that can be recycled, reused, or returned to manufacturers, including cardboard, paper, packaging, clean dimensional wood and palette wood, land-clearing debris, bricks, concrete masonry units (CMUs), metal from banding, stud trim, ductwork, piping, rebar, roofing, drywall, carpet and pad, paint, asphalt roofing shingles, rigid foam, glass, and plastic; (2) lists of available alternatives to landfilling for each material, such as crushing, grinding, or diverting to a collection and sorting facility; (3) who will be responsible for the waste management effort; and, (4) procedures for materials handling, management on-site, transportation, and distribution of the plan to the developer, architect, job supervisor, subcontractor, and construction manager.

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