1. Emphasize landfill diversion from day oneFrom the beginning of any project, landfill diversion and sustainability should be an emphasis, not just a secondary aspect of a job. Give yourself the opportunity to set goals for meeting regulations. For many green building certification standards such as LEED, you’ll need to have measurable success for recycling and waste reduction, and that needs to be considered in every aspect of a project.
2. Plan accordinglyJust like you measure twice and cut once, planning a sustainable building project starts long before any of the work is actually done. A big percentage of construction site waste is generated simply by inefficient purchasing. When you waste less, you spend less – it's that simple. Avoid using “template” buying practices, and instead take the time to purchase specifically what you need for each individual project.
3. Organize your construction siteIt’s amazing the difference that simple organization can make on a construction site. By grouping your recyclable and salvageable materials together, you can cut down on confusion and make your construction site more efficient. If time = money, efficiency means less money spent on re-doing work or having to sort materials after the fact.
4. Choose vendors wiselyIf you have set sustainability goals for your construction project, you need to choose vendors that will support those goals. Choosing vendors that can handle the scale of your project and won’t slow you down is critical. It does you no good to sort recyclable materials for collection if the vendor you choose can’t empty those containers fast enough. Also, there are vendors that can offer a single-stream recycling option so you don’t have to do any pre-sorting of recyclable materials. While this option may be pricier, it will save you time and help you achieve your sustainability goals more efficiently. Make sure you take the time to shop around with multiple vendors so that your goal-specific needs are being met.
5. Recycle and re-use salvageable materialsOn any given construction site there are always materials that you can recycle:
- Metal (Both ferrous and non-ferrous)
- Unpainted and Unstained Wood
- Window Glass
6. Track progress
All your work to reduce waste is meaningless if you can’t track your progress. This is where your vendors come back into play. Having the ability to measure how much waste is created, and how much is recycled is essential to tracking your landfill diversion rates. This seems like an obvious concept, but not all vendors are created equally. The regularity in which you check your progress is important as well. You can’t ignore your waste and recycling programs throughout half of your project and then expect to change them at the end. Rather, pay close attention throughout the progress of your project and make adjustments accordingly. 2019 will be another strong year for the construction industry, and keeping you at the top of your game is always a priority. Green building practices help you stay compliant with local regulations, save time and money, and in the end build a better building. These six attainable ways to reduce waste on your construction sites will help lead to a successful, prosperous and headache-free 2019.
This article was originally published on ForConstructionPros.com