Common Types of Construction Wastes
- Wood, Glass, and Plastic
The demolition of houses and temporary structures generates glass, wood, and plastic wastes. These types of construction wastes can be reused, or recycled and probably disposed of to the landfill. Chip wood, plywood, sawdust, and dimensional lumber are waste materials resulting from new construction. Plastic construction waste materials include plastic sheets, plumbing pipe, PVC siding, and Styrofoam insulation. Glass wastes can occur when sizing glass shelves, door panes and glass windows. They are non-hazardous when uncontaminated or left untreated but may also contain harmful substances.
- Concrete, Bricks, Tiles, and Ceramics
Bricks and concrete make the most of the construction waste that is dumped in landfills. However, used concrete or half-broken bricks can be recycled by crushing them into rubble. They are masonry waste materials that are left over after the construction of a new building. Masonry waste products are defined as solid, inert materials that are used to construct the physical structure of a building. Chunks of concrete, rocks, and bricks are all masonry materials that need to be disposed of in a sturdy dumpster because of their heavy weight.
- Dredging Materials
Any materials or objects extracted from the construction site during the preparation phase are referred to as dredging materials. This includes the trees, stumps, dirt, small rocks, and heavy debris. They can either be classified as construction waste or demolition waste depending on whether they were extracted from a preexisting building or evacuated from a new construction site.
- Metallic Wastes
Metallic wastes include plumbing pipes and cables made from different metals such as copper, steel, iron, or aluminum. Corrugated iron sheets can also be part of metallic wastes if you end up with scraps because of cutting or sizing the material based on dimensions of the roof. However, metallic wastes containing coal tar, oil, and other hazardous substances demand careful handling, as they are potentially harmful to your health and the environment.
- Insulation and Asbestos Materials
Asbestos is a mineral that has long been used for insulation properties, as they are highly resistant to heat and corrosion. It is still used today in controlled amounts and can be found in several building materials such as asphalt roofing, resilient floor tile, gaskets, floor backing, boiler coverings, and thermal pipe insulation. Materials that contain asbestos pose a great health risk and should be handled with care.
- Paint, Sealants, and Adhesives
Paint, varnishes, sealants, and adhesives are considered construction wastes if they are wasted due to accidents or left after work. This type of wastes can either be reused, recycled, or disposed of depending on their state or usability after construction. However, leftover paint, sealants, and adhesives may contain harmful substances that can be hazardous to both people and the environment.
Proper Disposal of Construction Waste
It is always important to consider the type of waste materials that are recyclable or reusable before you dispose of anything from your construction site. Proper waste management hierarchy is to reduce, reuse, recycle and dispose of waste materials from a construction site. A waste management audit involves identifying the most common materials that could become waste and the different stages of the construction project that affect the generated type of wastes.
For instance, you are more likely to generate a large amount of masonry waste such as concrete during the early stages of excavation. If you find out that certain materials cannot be reused or recycled then you can dispose of them by hiring a waste removal company or dumpster rental services to ensure your construction wastes are disposed of properly and in compliance with the law.
The production of wastes is often unavoidable when working on a new construction site. However, you can reduce the demands placed on landfills and minimize their environmental impact by following the waste management hierarchy. This involves reducing, reusing, and recycling before disposing of unwanted materials from a construction site. Proper identification, separation, and disposal of construction waste minimize the risk of exposure to hazardous substances that pose a significant threat to both people and the environment.