To extend the lifespan of landfills and conserve resources, State legislation mandates a 50 percent reduction in waste sent to landfills. Cities throughout the state have provided waste recycling and diversion programs allowing their communities to reach the goal. The success of these programs is based on the active participation of the residents and business community.
Your business can reduce waste and disposal cost by:
- Producing less waste
- Reusing material
The cost for waste disposal has increased due to strict landfill requirements and diminishing capacity. To minimize cost, your company should practice waste reduction.
There are generally four (4) basic types of construction waste:
- Rubble and asphalt
- All other materials
The following practices will help reduce your disposal cost:
- Keep recyclable and non-recyclable materials construction and demolition debris separated.
- Use inlet debris (concrete, brick, uncontaminated soil, rock, and gravel) as fill material. Unused material can be brought to an inert solid landfill for disposal.
- Keep plant waste separate from trash to receive a lower disposal rate at the landfill. Ground or chipped plant waste material can be used for groundcover or as compost material.
Reducing the amount of waste you create can lower disposal cost. Consider the following to reduce waste:
- Plan. Plan ahead for fewer emergency supply runs. Also, store leftover supplies and materials for your next project.
- Reduce Packaging. Ask suppliers to take back packaging after materials have been delivered.
- Include Waste Disposal Costs in Bids. Require subcontractors to include the cost of removing their waste in their bids to give them an incentive to produce less waste.
Reuse Scrap Materials
Reusing materials on site will reduce your disposal efforts and costs. Here are some suggestions:
- Use crushed masonry materials for fill or bedding material for driveways.
- Use joist off-cuts as stakes for forming or for headers around openings in floor assemblies.
- Use leftover insulation as ventilation baffles in attics.
- Return pallets to vendors.
- Give salvageable materials to businesses that collect and resell used construction materials.
Construction and demolition debris can be recycled into new materials. Recyclable construction and demolition materials can be stored on the project site in separate dumpsters labeled for metals, wood, cardboard, and plastic.
- Scrap lumber can be processed and used for landscaping, compost, or animal bedding.
- Metals can be sold to scrap metal yards. These are some of the easiest and most cost-effective materials to recycle.
- Cardboard can be kept separate in cardboard-only dumpsters at the job site and picked up by a local recycling firm.
- Gypsum drywall can be ground up for use as a soil amendment or a substitute for lime on lawns.
- Rubble (concrete, bricks, cinder block, and certain types of tile) can be crushed and sieved for use as an aggregate. For example, it can substitute for stone aggregate in non-structural applications.
- Glass can be recycled into fiberglass or used in place of sand in paving material.
- Asphalt shingles can be used in asphalt paving and pothole repair.
- Other scrap, such as plastic, fiberglass, and foam or other packaging materials can be recycled.
As you consider these suggestions for reducing, reusing and recycling waste, take time to analyze your operations. How could you show employees how to practice source reduction, reuse, and recycling?
Use Recycled Materials
Buy building supplies that contain recycled materials. There are many new recycled-content building materials that you may not be aware of that are available and cost effective.
For further information on how to reduce your waste disposal cost by producing less waste, call the City's Public Works Department at (714) 593-4441.