Responsible waste management in the construction sector, as it is in others, is a central feature of sustainable operations.
The trend to diversion (reduction, recycling, and reuse of waste) is growing exponentially as businesses realise not only that their reputations depend on their environmental custodianship but also that effective waste management actually makes a substantial contribution to their bottom line. Quite apart from the obvious cost savings delivered by efficient waste management, a holistic, integrated approach to waste management can create value through the return of wastes to manufacturing processes, promoting and seeking out opportunities for incorporation of recycled materials into products, and prioritising reduction of building related wastes through efficient job site practices.
In fact, it could be said that efficient and effective elimination and minimisation of waste and reuse of materials are essential aspects of design and construction activity. Creativity, persistence, knowledge of available markets and businesses, and understanding of applicable regulations are important skills for design and construction professionals. The more so, as green building regulations kick in.
However, local practices in the management and disposal of construction and demolition wastes are often shaped by the availability of suitable disposal sites, economic conditions, societal priorities, availability of markets for recycling and reuse, transportation options, and the capabilities of local workforces and construction businesses to adapt long-standing processes for the management of waste.