Every year, the construction industry consumes many materials, generating millions of tonnes of waste as a result. A shocking amount of this waste ends up in landfills, threatening habitats and waterways and causing a significant impact on the environment.
This industry generates waste from various recyclable materials, such as concrete, metals, asphalt, wood, glass, paper, and plastic. However, nowadays construction firms have a lot of options to change their procedures to reduce waste through recycling.
What Are the Benefits of Recycling Your Construction Waste?
1. Reduces Environmental Impact
While some building materials and also some rubbish that people generate may be biodegradable, not all of it is, and landfills are not meant for biodegrading. Therefore, the waste produces toxins and leaches into the ground and, eventually, waterways. This can contaminate the soil and water, which may lead to general environmental degradation and harm human health in the long run.
But by focusing your company’s effort on recycling construction waste, you can prevent unnecessary damage to landfills. This will keep the environment cleaner, reducing the risk of soil pollution, groundwater contamination, and the leaching of harmful chemicals.
2. Minimises Your Costs
By recycling your construction waste, you can significantly reduce the amount of waste you’re disposing of. This means you’ll spend less money on waste removal and boost your savings in return. Rather than simply sending your construction waste to a landfill, you can potentially repurpose it, or recycle it, which will reduce your environmental footprint.
This also means that you’ll use fewer resources. Rather than purchasing new construction materials, you’ll be reusing materials you’ve already bought before. This will keep your business’s costs down, saving you money over time.
3. Improves Your Reputation and Image
The construction industry isn’t always environmentally conscious, but recycling construction waste is a great way to improve your image. It can even inspire your employees and customers to do the same.
When you recycle your waste, you are boosting your eco-conscious status. You’ll be seen as a responsible business that cares about the planet and is willing to do its part to protect it.
What Are the Materials You Can Recycle?
In the construction industry, glass is mostly found in windows. These windows are often made from recycling.
Since glass is made from sand, a relatively abundant material, most construction companies recycle it instead of purchasing new materials. It is collected and sent to a company that processes it, then sold as new material.
The challenging part of recycling glass could be transporting it. Glass is heavy and can break, which could cause it to leak into the environment and endanger other materials. You also need to find a company that will process it for you. The company must be available to receive your glass regularly.
Steel is found in materials such as reinforcing bars, piping, and metal roofing in the construction industry. If you’re installing new steel supports, you may also get to sell used steel materials.
It’s easy to do when it comes to recycling steel, but you typically have to manage it yourself. You’ll have to collect the steel by collecting it at the jobsite or picking it up from the construction site. After picking it up, you’ll have to separate the steel from other debris, including other metals.
Asphalt is a byproduct of the asphalt manufacturing process. It’s made from residue and something you can often recycle. It is used as a base for concrete in the construction industry. When concrete is moistened, it shrinks and may crack, so it’s often necessary to use asphalt as a base to maintain its integrity.
In addition to the asphalt leftover from building materials, you can also collect asphalt from driveways and parking lots. This is called “asphalt millings,” which you can use to make new asphalt or as a building material in wall packs.
In the construction industry, concrete has many uses. It’s used in building, flooring, paving, and reinforcing materials that add strength and stability to a structure.
While you’ll have to haul it to your business or work site, you can then recycle it.
In some cases, you may sell concrete that you’ve already used in the past. You’ll want to find a buyer willing to pick it up regularly, so you won’t have to store it on your site or in your business for long periods.
In the construction industry, wood is used in two ways: as the actual building materials and used to frame houses. When you’re applying wood as a building material, you’ll want to make sure you’re reusing it accordingly.
Many construction companies can salvage wood from the jobsite. This can save them time and money because if the wood is salvageable, you don’t have to dispose of it, and you can use it as new wood. Also, you can turn wooden materials into mulch. After they’re processed, they’re safe to use in gardens and landscaping, which means you won’t have to pick up mulch from the store.
The most common form of recycling wood is by using it as a fuel source since it’s the most efficient way to recycle it. This is particularly important in rural areas, where landfills may not be accessible or plentiful all the time.
In some cases, you may donate your used wood to a company that can use it for other purposes. For example, if you’re installing a new deck, you may donate the old deck to someone who can reuse it.
Plastic is used in many ways in construction. It’s often used to encapsulate wires and create pipes, ducts, and insulation.
If you’re recycling plastic, you’ll want to separate it from other debris. This means that you’ll need to collect it at the jobsite or work site. You’ll also need to separate it from other objects or dispose of it properly.
Construction companies have a significant environmental impact. This is especially true if they’re constructing new buildings since they’ll create many new materials. Recycling construction waste can help reduce your ecological footprint and reduce the amount of waste in landfills.
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