Construction waste is unavoidable on any site, whether it’s for building or demolition. What you do with construction and building waste, including any steps you take to reduce the amount your operations produce, is important as part of your construction waste management plan.
Your business is responsible for the storage, removal, and disposal of all construction waste generated during your activities. It’s therefore essential you understand the proper processes to follow for all types of building waste you create. This helps protect human health, the environment, and ensure waste is managed safely and legally.
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Recycling construction waste is essential to reduce the amount of rubbish from your site that ends up in landfill. It also helps you avoid paying any landfill tax and creates a more positive impact on the environment. There are recycling schemes available for construction site materials, while some manufacturers have their own return and recycle schemes – or use Business Waste.
There are various types of construction waste where recycling is the best option, such as:
- Wood waste – leftover and unusable wood might be reused to make landscaping pellets, garden mulch, chipboard, animal bedding, and fuel.
- Inert waste – bricks, concrete, soil, and stones can be crushed to make aggregate material such as concrete or asphalt.
- Plasterboard – this can be reprocessed to make new plasterboard
- Metal waste – any scrap metal can be recycled to produce new metal. This uses less energy than producing metals from scratch.
- Cardboard and paper recycling – common recyclable materials that are reconstituted or shredded to make insulation and animal bedding.
- Plastic recycling – certain packaging and bottles can be recycled to produce new plastic.
- Glass recycling – crushed glass (cullet) can be reconstituted or used in aggregate, concrete, and insulation.
Construction and building waste
disposal and collection
It’s a criminal offence to dump hazardous construction waste. Hazardous construction waste like asbestos and electrical wiring must be collected and disposed of in a safe and secure manner. This ensures human health, animals, and the environment are not put at unnecessary risk.
Methods for the disposal of construction waste vary depending on the materials. We work on a zero landfill policy so try to encourage construction waste recycling wherever possible. Our licensed waste carriers are experienced in handling the different types of construction waste. They’ll remove your rubbish and take it to a nearby appropriate facility for construction waste disposal.
We can provide construction waste removal to sites anywhere in the UK, whether for building or demolition projects. Arrange construction waste collection on a daily, weekly, or fortnightly basis depending on the size of your site and amount of waste you generate. We offer a flexible service tailored to your needs.
Contact us online or call 0800 211 8390 to arrange construction and building waste collection and disposal today. One of our friendly team can advise on the best bins, skips, and containers and collection schedule based on your operations. We can also provide a free quote unique to your project for construction waste management.
How does construction
waste collection work?
Select your free bins
It’s quick and easy to organise commercial waste collection for your business.
Simply start by telling us the:
- Type of waste you need removing
- Size of bins you require
- Number of bins you want
We’ll provide you with a free quote.
When you’re happy with the type, number, and size of free bins, tell us when you need your bins delivering.
Let us know about any access issues where you want the bins delivering – such as locked gates, access codes and times. We’ll get you up and running in no time.
Fill up your bin
After the free bins arrive at your chosen location, fill them up with the agreed waste type.
Make sure you remain within any weight limits for the specific waste type and bin size.
Get your business waste collected
We’ll arrange waste collection at a time and frequency to suit you and the amount of waste you have.
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Construction waste is any unwanted material created by the construction and demolition industries. This can be concrete, bricks, and stone, to broken equipment, packaging for building materials, rags contaminated with chemicals, and more. It’s impossible for a construction site to operate without producing waste but it is possible to limit the amount going to landfill.
All construction companies are legally required to reduce, reuse, and recycle demolition and building waste before disposal. You also have a duty of care to manage your waste properly. This is enforced by the Environmental Agency and failure to do so may result in a hefty fine, which can damage your company’s reputation.
The construction industry produces various types of waste. These can be grouped into three main categories:
- Inert waste – includes material such as concrete, asphalt, bricks, stones, and soil. It makes up most of the construction, demolition, and excavation waste. It’s not chemically or biologically reactive and will not decompose, so shouldn’t go to landfill.
- Non-hazardous waste – any waste that doesn’t cause harm to human health or the environment. This includes plastic recycling, glass waste, and metal waste.
- Hazardous waste – waste that may be harmful to human health, such as asbestos, which falls under other the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, the COSHH Regulations, and the Control of Lead at Work Regulations (2002). Hazardous waste types require specialist handling.
Common types of construction and demolition waste are listed below together with their European Waste Catalogue (EWC) codes:
- Paints and varnishes – 08-01-11 to 08-01-11
- Adhesives and sealants – 08-04-09 to 08-04-10
- Packaging waste – 15-01-02 to 15-01-10
- Concrete, bricks, tiles, and ceramics – 17-01-01 to 1710-03
- Wood, glass, and plastic – 17-02-01 to 17-02-04
- Bituminous mixtures, coal, and tar – 17-03-01 to 17-03-03
- Metal waste (including cable) – 17-04-01 to 17-04-11
- Soil, contaminated soil, stones, and dredging soil – 17-05-03 to 17-05-06
- Insulation and asbestos materials – 17-06-01 to 17-06-13
- Gypsum – 17-08-01 to 17-08-02
- Cement (wet) – 17-09-03
Building waste collection
Arranging building waste collection is vital for any builders, as it’s a type of commercial waste. Licensed waste carriers must remove all waste products your building activities produce – whether it’s on the construction site for a new housing development or at a private household. You’re responsible to ensure the safe storage, removal, and disposal of building waste.
Ideally, any building plans will be designed to ensure as little waste as possible is created and that the material waste can be reused. Reusing and recycling is the best method of building waste disposal. We ensure all building waste is disposed of responsibly and kept out of landfill.
DIY work can also create plenty of building waste at home, whether you’re constructing a new garden wall or making some interior improvements. Disposal of building waste such as bricks, rubble, cement, and plasterboard isn’t as easy as getting rid of domestic general waste and recycling.
Most councils don’t offer building waste collection for households or allow it in general waste bins. Household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) accept some building waste for disposal, but you’ll need to transport it there. Using Business Waste for the collection and disposal of your building waste offers a quick, affordable, and convenient solution.
Why is waste management
important in construction?
Waste management in construction is important as construction waste increases the burden on landfill sites, which are becoming increasingly scarce. If demolition and building waste isn’t managed correctly, hazardous substances can cause soil and water pollution. It’s crucial for construction companies to manage their waste responsibly to conserve the planet’s natural resources and minimise environmental damage.
Some of the main reasons why waste management in construction is vital include:
- Compliance – The Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 requires construction companies to minimise waste using the waste management hierarchy. It’s also a legal requirement to complete a waste transfer note for each load of waste that leaves your site.
- Lower expenditure – Spending should fall when reusing materials saved from previous projects and you don’t need to pay removal costs or landfill tax. On April 1st 2020, landfill tax increased by HM Revenue and Customs to £94.14 per tonne for standard waste and £3 per tonne for lower rated (inert) waste.
- Health and safety – Careful waste storage minimises possible hazards and accidents on your construction site.
- Corporate environmental responsibility – Your company has an ethical responsibility to limit the amount of construction waste generated and ending up in landfill. Reducing, reusing, and recycling puts less strain on natural resources.
- Positive reputation – Running an environmentally responsible construction site is becoming increasingly important. Demonstrating a commitment to the environment helps build a positive reputation within your community. Keeping high standards of waste management can also help you gain government funding.
- Progressive work ethic – Employees who use responsible waste management practices may feel obliged to do the same at home. This can reflect on how they conduct themselves in future employment.
How to reduce
Construction companies are legally required to manage their waste following the waste management hierarchy. This is where we reduce, reuse, and recycle before disposing of construction waste. Recycling construction waste is covered above, but there are further steps you can take to reuse and reduce waste on a construction site.
Reuse construction waste
The first step to cut how much construction waste that ends up in landfill is to reduce the amount you produce in the first place. This requires careful planning. Here are some suggestions:
- Improve procurement practices by avoiding over-ordering materials or ordering errors – such as getting in the wrong products that go to waste.
- Don’t remove the plastic packaging from the materials until you’re sure they’ll be used. This protects the materials for longer and avoids unnecessary packaging waste, which isn’t always recyclable.
- Reduce offcuts by using materials in standard sizes and quantities.
- Order materials so they arrive on site in line with construction schedules. This reduces the risk of damage during storage.
- At the end of each project, review the amount of waste generated. Then adjust future ordering processes for other construction projects accordingly.
Recycle construction waste
Any leftover items from construction projects or materials salvaged from demolition needs storing properly, in a secure, weatherproof area. This ensures they stay in good condition for reuse on future projects. It’s also possible to sell excess building materials online via second hand forums such as Gumtree, eBay, or Facebook Marketplace.
The most common construction materials you can reuse include:
- Bricks and tiles (damaged items can be crushed)
- Inert materials (concrete, soils, stones, and asphalt)
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Why do I need to complete a construction waste audit?
A construction waste audit can help you determine how much waste you generate and how to reduce it. Business Waste can provide a full site audit carried out by experienced industry professionals on your behalf. Your construction waste audit should do the following:
- Sort waste into categories.
- Record the quantity of waste in each category.
- Look at the type and amount of waste generated throughout the different stages of the project.
- Conclude and analyse the results.
What is a construction site waste management plan (SWMP)?
A Site Waste Management Plan (SWMP) can be drawn up after undergoing a construction waste site audit. It’s no longer a legal requirement to have a site waste management plan, but it’s still incredibly useful for any construction site.
A detailed SWMP can help reduce onsite waste by up to 15%, increase efficiencies and save money in the long run. At Business Waste we’re committed to working with you to develop a site waste management plan tailored to your specific requirements. Your SWMP should contain:
- The contractor responsible for implementing the plan on site.
- Suggestions for how to prevent waste at the ordering stage.
- A list of expected waste types together with their EWC codes.
- Details of how the waste will be reused or recycled throughout the project.
- Information about the licensed waste carrier and how much waste you expect them to remove.
- Estimated savings achieved due to using the SWMP.
How do you dispose of construction waste?
If you can’t reduce, reuse, or recycle your construction waste, then disposing of construction waste in skips and bins is the other option. Non-hazardous, hazardous, and recyclable materials require disposal in separate skips. After storing your waste, you can then arrange construction waste removal by licensed waste carriers such as via Business Waste. They’ll transport it to a nearby facility for disposal.
It’s a legal requirement that each load of waste moved off your premises includes a waste transfer note. The waste transfer note must include:
- The waste classification code.
- Whether the building waste is hazardous or not.
- The type of premises or business where the waste was produced.
- Name of the substance or substances.
- Processes that produced the waste.
- A chemical and physical analysis and its components
- Any special problems, requirements, or knowledge related to the waste.
At Business Waste, we provide a waste transfer note for free. The construction company and the waste management company both need to keep a signed copy of the waste transfer note for a minimum of two years.
What size skips are available for construction waste?
Skips are available in different sizes to suit the waste needs of any construction or demolition site. They should be placed in an easily accessible and safe location on your site with appropriate signage. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needs to be provided and worn to minimise risks when dealing with skips.
Three common skip sizes used on construction sites include:
- Small builders’ skip – 6 cubic yards/10 x 4 x 4 feet.
- Large builders’ skip – 8 cubic yards/12 x 6 x 4 feet.
- Large maxi skip – 12 cubic yards/13 x 6 x 6 feet (no soil and bricks)
How much waste does the construction industry produce?
The construction industry contributes to more than one-third of the UK’s annual total waste and has a responsibility to lead the way in waste management for other sectors. 100 million tonnes of construction waste is produced annually. However, it’s estimated that 93% of that is recovered and used again.
Over the past 10 years 330,000 new homes have been built in the UK, so it’s not surprising that the construction industry uses 400 million tonnes of natural resources each year.
How does construction waste affect the environment?
According to a recent report, construction waste in the UK has a negative effect on the environment as it contributes to:
- 50% of landfill waste
- 23% of air pollution
- 40% of water pollution
- 50% of climatic change
Improper disposal and sending construction and building waste to landfill rather than recycling, reusing, and reducing it, negatively affects the environment. As the likes of bricks, mortar, and many other building materials aren’t biodegradable and may contain some hazardous elements, they won’t break down in landfill and add to pollution levels.
Construction waste recycling and reuse is the only way to improve the impact construction waste has on our planet.
Who is responsible for construction waste disposal?
Any business that produces, stores, transports, and disposes of construction waste is responsible for its disposal. If you produce such waste but use a third party for construction waste removal and disposal, you’re still responsible for it. Using a reputable, licensed, waste disposal company is vital.
It’s the responsibility of the construction company to check the waste management company is properly licensed. If they dispose of your waste at an unofficial site, you may be legally obliged to pay landfill tax. A permit is also required if you use a skip and it’s situated on public land – such as a public street.
We’re committed to reducing the amount of waste that is sent to landfill. We help businesses organise your waste management and recycle as much of your waste as possible. Contact us today and arrange safe, legal, and licensed construction waste removal.
Get a fast, free quote for construction waste removal
Get a fast FREE quote for your construction waste disposal
- Free quote within 1 hr
- Any type of construction waste
- FREE bins and delivery
- We cover all of the UK