Demolition wastes are the remains or debris from a structure or construction that has been demolished. The debris usually consists of different materials, depending on the type of structure being demolished. Demolition waste from a house will consist of broken glass, broken tiles, vinyl, plastic, dry wall pieces, broken roofing tiles, wood, wet and dry paint and other assorted materials from household items. The management of these wastes entails different ways of recycling them for future use.
There is need to maximize on the management of demolition waste to avoid contaminating the local environment. Solid waste affects negatively on the natural vegetation while gases from paints pollute the air we breathe in. This article looks at what demolition waste really entails.
Waste Assortment and Transportation
The first step to waste management is to separate different materials. This is important to know what percentage each type of material takes in the waste debris. The type of materials found in waste mainly depend on the kind of structure being demolished, the materials used to construct the structure and the age of the structure. The separation of the materials will help determine what mode of transport and the destination of each type of material from the waste. The type of vehicle transporting waste materials should be well covered to avoid dropping some waste on the road and prevent pollutant gases from escaping into the atmosphere. The destination could be a recycling plant or a landfill.
Types of Waste Products Handled During Waste Management
Wood is the easiest waste material to recycle. Waste management companies can crash it, reprocess, or make it into other wooden items such as medium density fiberboard, toilet roll paper, books and so on. Wood is environmentally friendly and its recycling does not involve a long process. If the wood materials had been crashed into a form that cannot be recycled, it can be used to as a source of energy such as home fireplaces and other places that rely on wood for energy.
- Concrete, Ceramics and Brick
These two are the largest component of demolition debris from a house. Mainly, they are from the floor and the roofing. They are heavy, hence are transported by use of trucks. There is no much that can be done to these two types of materials as far as recycling is concerned. Mostly, they are used for landfills in areas where mining had previously taken place. They can also be used during construction of roads and foundations for houses. However, this does not mean that they cannot be recycled, as they can, and have endless usage. The recycled concrete can be made into new ceramic or concrete materials such as cabro and terrazzo.
- Flat Glass
Most of the glass from demolition waste is in a form commonly known as flat glass. It is referred to as flat glass since most of it is in a sheet form. It is mainly from windows and doors. Flat glass could also be from car windscreens. In some rare cases, it could be from container glasses such as soft drinks and beers. Manufacturers clean and heat it at very high temperatures to allow molding it into any desired shape or size. The recycled glass is used mainly in the building and construction industry, to make some new flat glass for windows and doors.
The way metallic waste is handled is to crash, heat, and clean at very high temperatures to become liquid. The liquid is then poured into different shapes and left to cool down. The result is metallic items of different sizes and shapes. Heavy metals do not have to follow this whole process. It can be just cleaned, refurbished to make a new metallic item.
- Biodegradable Waste
Rarely, a demolition waste will contain biodegradable material. Such waste could be in form of rotten food, or fruits. Fortunately, these wastes are easily torn by the bacterial in the soil. However, most of them like fruit peelings are recycled to make charcoal briquettes, which have become a popular source of energy. The charcoal briquettes are a replacement of wood charcoal for use in fireplaces.
Waste management plays a key role as far as environmental conservation is concerned. Without proper waste management, a community can be in crisis. Solid waste will be lying all over, the rivers would be flowing with pollutants and people could be inhaling toxic gases. Recycling plants should be built in one place, close to each other. This will ensure that no single piece of waste is left unrecycled, since they do not have to be transported over long distances.