Engineering Questions – How to Effectively Manage Construction Waste?

Engineering Questions – How to Effectively Manage Construction Waste?

Material waste and debris created during the construction, demolition, or renovation of roads, bridges, and buildings are known as Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste. While the industry continues to develop technological solutions to enhance productivity and work efficiency, construction waste reduction is often side-lined.

aerial photography of building construction

According to The Brainy Insights, it is reported that the global C&D waste industry is going to reach about $55.54 billion by 2030. Moreover, a study in 2020 concluded that the construction industry is held accountable for creating 39% of carbon emissions.

This has led to the urgency to adopt new approaches that promote sustainable waste material management. 

What Does a Construction Waste Consist of?

Since the C&D materials are generated during construction, renovation, and demolition, most waste material consists of heavy and bulky construction materials. The main culprits of construction-site waste materials are:

  • Plastic
  • Wood
  • Concrete
  • Asphalt from road and roofing
  • Bricks
  • Clay
  • Stone
  • Ceramic, tile, glass
  • Trees, rock, etc. from clearing sites
  • Ferrous and non-ferrous metals
  • Building components like windows, plumbing, doors
  • Gypsum, the main component of drywalls

How to Reduce the Construction Waste?

Reduce, reuse and recycle is how you manage every type of waste material. You can lessen the disposal of C&D waste materials by reducing, recycling, reusing, and buying used materials rather than virgin products.

aerial photography of white high-rise concrete building

Here are methods you can apply for the reduction of construction waste:

  • Reducing Source
    While recycling and reusing are the most reliable methods for managing waste material, source reduction can completely decrease the generation of waste.
    A few instances of source reduction of C&D waste materials include employing construction methods that promote reusable materials, preserving existing architecture rather than building new ones, reducing the interior finishings, improving the size of new buildings, changing the designs of buildings, and more.
    Moreover, purchasing agreements should be made to avoid the oversupply of packages and materials on the construction site.
  • Salvaging and Reusing Materials
    Simply disposing the waste of a demolished building is not the ideal way of managing construction waste. Recovering and reusing valuable materials will take you one step closer to saving money effectively and achieving the protection of natural resources.
    Deconstruction of buildings is the perfect way to salvage and reuse. It is the process of disassembling buildings to recover useful components for recycling and reusing. Through deconstruction, you can recover maximum materials, conserve the non-renewable resources, promote local manufacturing activities, create employment opportunities, and preserve resources by reusing them.
  • Disposing Properly
    Sometimes waste materials that go for recycling are poorly managed. This is why it’s important to take proper responsibility for managing waste for future use.

Ask your local construction waste management companies whether they comply with state regulations and laws. Check their license and registration, and ensure they can legally take care of construction waste. Also, don’t forget to ask whether they use proper equipment like trash compactors to manage waste. 

All of this is required so that there is no further mishandling of construction waste. If the recycling process goes smoothly, there will be environmental benefits on a huge margin.

What Are the Benefits of Reduction of Construction Waste Disposal?

Let’s throw some light on the several benefits of reducing construction waste disposal.

  • Reduction of Waste in Landfill
    It is believed that by 2050, the worldwide municipal solid waste generation is predicted to increase by 70%, making it 3.4 billion metric tons. This is a huge problem in itself; however, the bigger issue here lies that among this growing waste, only 20% is recycled.
    And since not even half of the waste amount is recycled, the landfills globally are filling up rapidly. This gives rise to new ideas for waste management. One way you can handle this situation is by reducing the need to dispose of construction waste material altogether.
    If you stop the waste from producing in the first stage itself, there won’t be a problem of landfills filling up.
  • Increased Employment Opportunities
    Companies adopting more construction waste management policies create a need for more organisations to increase their production of recycled materials. When waste disposal reduces, demand for recycling products grows. If the demand for recycled construction materials increases, it creates several job opportunities.
  • Cost Savings
    Recycling and reusing construction materials reduces the cost of transportation and disposal.
    Many traditional disposal methods cost more than what recycling would generally cost you. Moreover, recycling excludes the production and transportation costs of raw materials. Hence, there’s a bulk of cost savings.


Like every other waste material, even C&D waste materials can be managed using the correct methods. Whether it’s about saving costs or the environment, recycling and reusing construction waste material is a great alternative to disposing it.

Written by Erich Lawson. Erich is passionate about saving the environment through effective recycling techniques and modern innovations. He works with Compactor Management Company and writes on a variety of topics related to recycling, including tips and advice on how balers, compactors and shredders can be used to reduce industrial waste. He loves helping businesses understand how to lower their monthly garbage bills and increase revenue from recycling.

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