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Differences between Construction Waste & Regular Waste Disposal

It is very important for those in the construction industry to know the difference between construction waste management protocols versus normal waste management. Construction waste is a significant problem throughout the world causing municipal landfills to fill prematurely. This became such an issue that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has sponsored the establishment of special Construction & Demolition (C&D) Landfills. C&D Landfills are specifically established to take in waste materials generated during demolition and construction of major structures like buildings, bridges, and roads. However, a more recent development is that many common construction projects can be re-directed to a recycling facility.

The primary reason for knowing the difference is financially motivated. Disposing of construction waste in a C&D Landfill is typically significantly less expensive than using a traditional municipal landfill. Since the permitting for C&D landfills has been made much easier by the EPA than regular municipal solid waste facilities, there is usually one located to the construction site. Many times construction wastes, especially concrete and metals, can be recycled. There are a growing number of companies offering concrete recycling. However, construction workers must segregate the recyclable materials from those that cannot be reused. Concrete recyclers can crush the concrete waste into aggregate that is subsequently used as a road base. In addition to this being environmental friendly, construction companies pay less to discard of the waste or can purchase their own concrete aggregate at a significantly discounted rate than retail.

Metals are particularly valuable from construction sites. Copper prices rose so much that theft of the metal from construction sites has become commonplace. Many metal recycling companies require proof before accepting waste metals so that they are ensured they are not purchasing stolen materials. The cost differences between recycling metals and concrete from construction sites can enable the construction company to be much more competitive during the bid process as well as appealing to clients who are trying to be more environmentally conscientious.

For an effective construction waste management program, construction companies need to aware of several things. First, construction debris ear marked for a C&D facility must have a separate roll-off container or be stockpiled separated so that it can be easily loaded into a dump truck for transport to the disposal facility. Secondly, employees need to be trained to spot what materials get segregated so that they can be separated properly. However, once employees become knowledge, the company can reap the benefits of properly disposing of construction debris.


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The CP Group
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