Building material disposal and recycling

If you work within the construction industry, it’s likely that you produce large volumes of waste within the daily running of your business. While waste is somewhat inevitable, you must take the necessary steps to ensure these products are disposed of safely and securely in a way that does not harm the environment.

Building material disposal and recycling

What type of waste are Building Materials?

As many materials could be classified as ‘Building Waste’, they tend to fall into different waste categories. This includes:

Non-Hazardous Building Waste. Non-hazardous building waste refers to materials that cannot cause any harm to others or the environment when disposed of safely. This could include products such as plastic, glass and metal used within the construction process.

Inert Waste. Inert Waste refers to waste that will not break down naturally because it is not chemically or biologically reactive. As a result, its usage and disposal must be carefully monitored. This includes products such as concrete, bricks, asphalt, stones and soil.

Hazardous Waste. While the use of asbestos, or products containing asbestos, has reduced significantly in recent years, they are classified as a form of hazardous waste and must be disposed of accordingly. Other forms of hazardous building waste could include paints, varnishes or oils.

Who invented Building Materials?

There is no known inventor for building materials or the construction process. However, historians have traced the earliest large-scale buildings (for which evidence still remains) to ancient Mesopotamia. Their studies found evidence of both small and large scale properties, including palaces and temples.

What are they made from, and how are they made?

What materials are building materials made from?

Building materials can be made from any number of base materials. This could include sand, clay, stones, soil, plastic, glass and wood.

How are Building Materials made?

Different building materials undergo different construction processes, depending on what they will be used for. For example, products such as sand, limestone and soda ash are melted at very high temperatures to create glass. Cement, however, is made when limestone is heated to a very high temperature, releasing the carbon dioxide stored within the stone. This creates a fine powder, which hardens when mixed with water.

Building Material Disposal

How do you dispose of Building Materials?

If you run a building or construction company, there are various government legislations that you must adhere to regarding the way in which you must manage and dispose of your waste. In short, you must:


What happens to Building Materials after they have been put in the bin?

If your Building Materials are sent to a landfill site, they may take decades to decompose naturally. For example, plastic products can take upwards of 1000 years to biodegrade in a landfill setting. However, recycling means that these products can be used repeatedly – though the exact process varies depending on the products. For example:

Wood Recycling. Building materials made from wood are first placed into a chipper, which shreds the wood into smaller, more manageable chunks or pellets. Large pieces are then used in the manufacturing process for furniture or similar products, where smaller pieces or fibres are used to create animal bedding or mulch.

Metal Recycling. While many different metals are used within construction, the most common metal product is carbon steel. However, this product is 100% recyclable. To recycle steel, magnets are used to separate these products from the rest of your waste before shredding them in a rotating magnet drum. Afterwards, it can be repurposed and turned into a variety of new products.

Alternatives to Building Materials.

What are some eco-friendly alternatives to Building Materials?

Right now, the construction industry is making a real move towards becoming more sustainable. This is evidenced by the number of eco-homes currently under construction/development. Thankfully, there are various materials that you could use that are considered to be a little kinder to the environment. This includes:

    Reclaimed/Recycled materials, such as wood.
    Recycled Plastic
    Recycled Steel
    Recycled Rubber

Can you do anything with Building Materials instead of throwing them away?

Surplus building materials or waste from demolition does not always need to be thrown away. For example, there are various secondary uses that you might want to consider first. For example, you may be able to use leftover materials for your next project or to carry out some DIY. Alternatively, various UK-based organisations accept donations of building materials for community outreach projects. This includes charities such as EnviroMate.

What are the costs associated with recycling and disposing of Building Materials?

The overall cost of disposing of your Building Material waste will depend, of course, on the amount of waste that you are producing. However, when working alongside Business Waste, we’ll help you to carry out a waste management audit to ensure that you have the best practices in place regarding waste disposal. We’ll also provide you with free access to a range of bins and containers. In short, we’ll ensure our collection and disposal processes are as low-cost as possible.

Facts about building materials

How many Building Materials are used each year?

The construction industry uses around 400 million tonnes of materials every year. From this, they generate approximately 100 million tonnes of waste.

How many Building Materials are in landfills?

While the exact number of building materials currently in landfill sites is unclear, it’s estimated that as much as 30% of all materials found on a construction site will end up in a landfill.

Where can you take these items to recycle/dispose of them for free?

You can donate surplus building materials as opposed to simply throwing them away. Alternatively, if they are in good condition, you can sell them online on sites such as GumTree. Finally, you can take these products to a local recycling centre to ensure they are disposed of correctly.

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