Prevent Jobsite Waste
Prevent Jobsite Waste
Waste prevention activities not only cut disposal costs but also reduce new material expenses.
Waste prevention activities – such as reusing salvaged building materials on your project – not only cut disposal costs but also reduce new material expenses. For additional information, contact the Construction Recycling Program project manager.
Learn how to:
Design to Prevent Waste
A waste management plan should include these strategies:
- Work with the client and designer to select designs that use materials efficiently.
- Set waste prevention goals at the beginning of the project and target specific waste-producing activities.
- Include waste management specifications
Prevent Waste On-Site
There are a number of ways to reduce the amount of waste produced on site.
- Ask suppliers to take back or buy substandard, rejected or unused items.
- Request that vendors (PDF, 19 K) deliver materials in returnable containers.
- Review and modify storage-handling practices to reduce material loss from weather and other damage.
Purchase to Prevent Waste
Implement purchasing strategies that prevent waste.
- Purchase good-quality, previously used building materials, such as cabinets, doors, and fixtures.
- Choose materials that are delivered with minimal or no packaging.
- Re-evaluate estimating procedures to ensure that the correct amount of each material is delivered to the site.
Reuse and Salvage
Reuse items on site or donate and/or sell salvageable items to cut waste and reduce supply costs. When using a demolition contractor, specify reuse and salvage in the contract.
- Identify potentially reusable or salvageable items before demolition.
- Determine how salvaged items will be removed and whether they will be reused, donated or sold.
- Contact salvage companies and non-profit organizations that purchase or accept donated building materials.
- Inform the demolition crew of salvage procedures and expectations.
Select a Salvage Company
When choosing a salvage company, be sure to ask the following questions.
- What materials do you accept?
- Are there minimum or maximum material volumes?
- Will you pick up the materials at the job site?
- Is there a charge for pick-up service?
- Will you provide containers for large volumes?
- Do you charge a container rental fee?
- Will you pay for the materials?
Other Reuse Options
Many companies have success with less-formal reuse options.
- Advertise reusable items in the newspaper
- Arrange for materials dealers to collect materials directly from your jobsite
- Conduct a "yard sale" at the job site to sell reusable items
- Allow workers to remove materials for their own use
- Post signs offering free materials to the general public
Avoid Penalties for Illegal Dumping and Unsecured Loads
- Contractors and property owners can be fined up to $5,000 for illegal disposal of construction materials or other debris. To ensure that your construction materials are managed properly:
- Always know where materials go when they are removed from the jobsite
- Require disposal, salvage and recycling receipts for all materials removed from the jobsite
- Before the project begins, inform your contractors and subcontractors that you require these receipts
- Keep these receipts and provide copies to your project manager or the property owner
- The fine is $194 for transporting an unsecured load. If an item falls off of your vehicle and causes bodily injury, you will be charged with a gross misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of up to $5,000 and may include jail time. For tips on how to secure your load, visit the Secure Your Load Web site.
- For more information about illegal dumping, visit King County's illegal dumping Web site. To report an illegal dumpsite:
- Call 206-296-SITE (7483)
- Report on-line
- To find out if your contractor is insured and bonded, call the Labor and Industries Hotline at 1-800-647-0982 or visit their Web site: http://www.lni.wa.gov/ (external).
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