Construction Projects – Taking the Waste Away

Construction Projects – Taking the Waste Away

25th July 2018

Here at Safety Fabrications we like to keep our fingers on the pulse of what’s going on within the construction industry as a whole so that we can keep our readers up to date with all new developments within our sector.  As the UK construction industry (and Britain as a whole) strives to improve our ethical stance towards the environment in order to help achieve the government’s sustainability targets, the spotlight often falls on the need to recycle and reuse. 

Construction projects, by their very nature, tend to generate quite a lot of waste.  Whether this is from tearing down structural elements in order to replace them with new, packaging waste from materials or the more dangerous waste that is generated when asbestos or asbestos containing materials (ACMs) are removed from buildings, all this waste has to be taken off-site and disposed of in some manner. 

The disposal of asbestos is heavily regulated nowadays and there is a legal requirement for any asbestos discovered during construction activities to be removed and disposed of by a licensed asbestos contractor.  However, other types of waste are still presenting a challenge to the construction sector, especially to SME contractors who may not have a specific process or policy in place to cover this.

The construction industry is the UK’s largest user of natural resources and is responsible for more than a third of the nation’s rubbish.  The sector is being urged to make more of an effort to recycle waste and minimise landfill.  According to the founder of a UK waste management service, the bulk of construction waste could be recycled and reused, though the majority of construction companies fail to consider using a waste management service to take care of their waste. 

However, as more businesses become conscious of the amount of waste materials they produce engaging the services of a waste management company can represent a great way of committing to and ethical environmental ethos which would allow them to advertise their green credentials to prospective clients.  With so many householders more aware of the need to recycle, there’s a growing trend towards engaging the services of building companies which adhere to environmental practices that protect our environment.  In other words, going green is a great marketing opportunity for building firms.

A dedicated waste management service for the commercial sector will use their own vehicles to collect waste from the construction site and dispose of it in the legally required manner.  The waste management service will be responsible for obtaining the necessary disposal permits, taking care of an often irksome part of the job. 

Legislation here in the UK requires that all contractors must plan, manage and monitor their work so that it’s carried out safely and without risks to health – and this includes planning and managing how waste will be disposed of both during and after the construction project.  Sensible management of materials can reduce waste whilst improving overall site safety.  Using a dedicated waste management service could be the most convenient (and even cost effective) method of ensuring that the waste is disposed of in compliance with regulations.