Construction Waste

The construction sector is a major consumer of energy and raw materials, and a major producer of waste.

Due to population growth and increased demolition and renovation sites, the tonnages generated by this sector are increasing sharply. Moreover, traditional storage or incineration treatment systems are expensive, controlled and implantation is increasingly limited by regulations.

Producing as little site waste as possible implies preventive work when developing the project (at the design level), and on the choice of construction processes. This analysis allows:

  • saving waste treatment and disposal costs (less mixed, less composite and easily sorted), because recycling is less expensive than landfilling or incineration
  • reusing or recycling waste more easily and thus saving raw materials
  • to promote employment because deconstruction consumes a lot of manpower

How could we better manage our construction waste

Optimizing site waste management

The management of site waste by anticipating deconstruction implies on the part of the master of work:

  • schedule waste management in the construction operation
  • integrate waste management into the selection process of the construction company
  • provide stakeholders with the technical and financial means to apply this management
  • monitor and control waste management on the site
  • carry out preliminary studies for the implementation of site waste management
  • integrate specific clauses for waste management in the specifications

On site waste management requires on the part of the project manager to raise awareness and staff training in site waste management, but also implementation of solutions and techniques for deconstruction and sorting on site.

Project design

The design of the building must be minimal in waste:

  • by the use of a supporting structure of standardized dimensions
  • by providing for the modulation of buildings over time, which implies a reduction in production
    of waste during future conversions

Choose the constructive process

Using prefabricated materials and materials with standardized dimensions allows reduction of the production of waste on site and in the workshop, the duration of the site and nuisances (noise, dust). Using construction techniques allowing easy disassembly, such as assembly by mechanical fixing (interlocking, screws or nails, etc.).

Choose materials

The materials must meet several criteria: a high content of recycled materials, the ability of the material to be dismantled and a large proportion that can be recycled. There is no point in sorting and recycling construction waste if there is no demand for products made from this secondary raw material.

Sort on site

The author of the project must consider a demanding sorting level which can be broken down as follows:

  • recoverable and / or reusable materials
  • hazardous waste (incinerable / non-incinerable)
  • recyclable waste (inert, metallic, wood, glass, plastics)
  • non-recoverable waste (incinerable / non-incinerable)

Please note that some waste has intrinsic value (metals, furniture, old bricks, etc.). The project manager must be concerned that the waste is properly sold during the site for its own benefit.