Throughout a construction project, whatever it may be, you’re bound to be tossing away a lot of debris. Debris is generated from all phases of a project and often just gets thrown away and later taken to a landfill. Recycling and reusing materials is many times overlooked, especially during the cold, winter months when you want to finish a project as quickly as possible. With the use of an electric construction heater, you’ll stay warmer on the job site and be more apt to implement a longer timeline, making recycling more attainable.
What Should Your Construction Team Recycle?
Management might not know what things can or should be recycled, or don’t have the time to research it. But, having a good recycling system on your jobs site can not only benefit your business, but will benefit the environment, as well. Additionally, with an ever-growing push to go green, recycling materials during the construction phase of a project may earn you points towards a highly coveted LEED® certification. Companies like Waste Management make it easy to integrate recycling best practices into your construction process
If you’ve decided you want to start recycling and reusing more of the waste generated at your construction sites but don’t know where to start, we’ve come up with a list of some of the materials that your construction team can and should be recycling.
1. Wood and Lumber
Wood and lumber are probably at the top of the list for things that generate debris at a construction site. It might seem like a tedious job to find the pieces worth salvaging, but workers can use recycled wood in a variety of ways. While deconstruction might be the best possible way to determine what wood is salvageable or not, sometimes it isn’t always possible. Maybe there was some standing water from flooding and the wood needs to be dried out. The use of a construction fan can be helpful in this instance. Drying out the area can help determine whether demolition or deconstruction should be used, and what can be saved or thrown out.
And after wood has been milled it can be turned into new boards to be reintroduced to the construction ecosystem. Additionally, wood that’s not going to make the cut to become new timbers can be ground to a pulp and turned into particleboard.
Metals are often cut to specific sizes and dimensions in order to fit the area it will be used for, generating fall-off waste that remains after the material has been cut to size. Common metals found at construction sites include steel, aluminum, and copper. Many cities have restrictions on how copper is reused in the construction of a new structure, but it can fetch a pretty penny on the resale and recycling market. Steel, on the other hand, is incredibly durable and will still be of use even after it’s been recycled. Most steel framing actually consists of 28 percent of recycled steel.
Glass is a major component of many buildings in items such as windows and tile. In many demolition and remodeling projects, glass debris is generated but isn’t often recycled. Recycling glass can be tricky because many glass makers have specific requirements for their products and recycled glass doesn’t always fit. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try, though. Taking the time to determine if the glass can be recycled or reused might be time-consuming, but will be worth it in the long run.
Drywall is one of the easier items that you can recycle. It is used in nearly every building. Drywall can be reused in a variety of ways such as for plugging holes in walls and even in agricultural products. Additionally, due to its high levels of boron, which is a known plant nutrient, landscapers can use the material to fertilize their plants.
5. Roofing Shingles
Roofing shingles are made from a felt mat infused with asphalt and tiny rocks. They are extremely durable and can last for a very long time. Roofing shingles are often thrown out from demolition or deconstruction of old homes and buildings, but recycling them can provide materials for pavement projects, such as filling potholes, and they can even be recycled to create new shingles.
6. Cardboard and Paper Products
Cardboard and paper products are a huge part of construction. Many appliances and materials come in cardboard boxes and packaging. This is one of the easiest things you can recycle.
During demolition, concrete can generate massive amounts of debris. Concrete is commonly recycled, so there are many facilities that are specifically for this type of recycling. Concrete can be recycled into crushed stone and even used for roads, driveways, and foundations.
Appliances don’t always have to be thrown away or taken to the junkyard. If they still work, perhaps try donating them to your local Salvation Army or Habitat for Humanity. If they don’t work, try finding a local recycling facility that would be willing to come and pick them up.
Supply Your Construction Site With On Site
Deconstructing your sites is the preferred, most sustainable way to salvage reusable debris, but sometimes it can’t always be done. Implementing a plan ahead of time can help determine the best way to recycle as much as possible, and that includes making sure your construction site has the right amenities for your workers. If you are working in the winter months, On Site can help provide you with electric heaters to keep you warm during your project. Construction fans in the summer months can also be useful when the weather gets hot or you need to dry out an area from a recent rainfall. Don’t hesitate to contact us today to get a quote on all of your construction needs!