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Creating an effective construction site waste management plan

Tons of construction waste ends up in landfills every year, but with a good construction waste management plan sample, you can minimize the amount of waste you produce on your sites. Draft waste management strategies that are eco-friendly and compliant with environmental laws.

What is a construction site waste management plan checklist?

In a report released by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, it was recorded that the U.S. produced over 600 million tons of construction and demolition waste just in 2018 alone. This is a particularly alarming number considering it is twice the amount of municipal solid waste generated annually.

Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), all construction companies have a responsibility to manage the waste they produce through proper planning and workforce training on environmental awareness. This is where a Construction Waste Management Plan Sample (CWMP) is essential. It provides comprehensive details on the volume and type of waste that construction sites generate, along with the appropriate waste management practices necessary to cut waste as much as possible. This process also includes the methods on how they will be reduced, reused, recycled, or disposed of.

This article covers the following topics:

1. What are the key objectives of a construction site waste management plan?

2. How to implement a waste management plan

3. The best practices of waste reduction

4. Benefits of a digital waste management plan

What are the key objectives of a construction site waste management plan?

The construction waste management plan should be drafted prior to the start of the project and continually updated throughout the process. The goal is to plan out proper waste management strategies, record the methods implemented, and promote accountability with documentation of every material that cannot be reused or recycled, including how they were properly disposed of at a legitimate site.

Essentially, a site waste management plan has four key objectives:

  • Reduce the volume of waste produced during construction projects.
  • Ensure that materials are maximized as much as possible through reuse, recycling, and reprocessing methods.
  • Minimize the environmental impact by significantly cutting down the volume of materials sent to landfills.
  • Complying with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and avoid potential fines.

How do i implement a construction site waste management plan checklist?

A good construction site waste management plan checklist is the first step to reducing waste effectively and sustainably. The key lies in crafting a structure for optimal waste disposal and management at every stage of your construction project.

Here is how you can do it:

  • Set an objective. Before starting, measure the current amount and types of waste that similar projects have generated. From this, set a realistic and concrete target on the percentage decrease of waste you want to see.
  • Assign a person in charge. Because the construction waste management plan would have to be consistently updated throughout the project duration, it’s better to assign one person who will be responsible for it. Try to select someone who has a certain leadership mantle, so he/she will have enough authority to ensure everyone’s compliance with the plan.
  • Identify what kind of waste and how much of it will be produced. This is where you sort through what materials are going to be used. Out of all that will be used in the project, how much waste will be generated? What is the estimated volume of the materials that will be reused, recycled, or disposed of?
  • Determine the best waste management practices. The ultimate goal is to ensure that all waste is properly stored, transported, and disposed of with utmost care. Site managers should keep thorough documentation outlining all the waste that was disposed of or transferred, including the methods on how they were processed.
  • Clearly state where the waste will be disposed of. It’s important that all waste is disposed of at legitimate sites to ensure compliance with legal responsibilities. If you’re utilizing the service of contractors, you need to also check where they are disposing of the waste.
  • Train your workforce. Your waste management methods are only as good as the people who implement them, so it’s important that you educate your employees on the importance of using the construction waste management plan sample.
  • Assess the produced waste. Test how well the construction waste management plan is working by analyzing how much waste your project generates, as well as the types of wasted materials. Compare it with your overall goal. Are you close to your target volume, or are you generating more waste than you should?
  • Regularly monitor implementation and adjust as needed. Always have your finger on the pulse of your waste management plan by tracking its progress and implementation regularly. Recalibrate to align your execution toward your overall goal where necessary.
  • Review the data. Once the project is done, review the data recorded on your waste management plan sample and evaluate your performance against objectives.

After demolition there is a lot of construction waste

What Are the best practices of reducing waste at construction sites?

One of the important parts of a waste management plan sample is the inclusion of best practices to actively reduce waste. This helps you stay on course with your objectives and provide your workforce with a guide on how to manage waste properly in all stages of the construction project.

1. Include Source Reduction During Project Planning

One of the best ways to reduce waste is to prevent it from happening in the first place. You can do this by coming up with accurate estimates of materials during product sourcing. Not only does this result in fewer waste materials, but it also saves you money.

Here are some factors to consider during planning:

  • How much material do you need?
  • Where is waste most likely to happen?
  • Are there any non-recyclable materials that can be substituted for recyclable ones?

2. Deconstruct and Reuse

Deconstruction is the process of removing good materials from a building to be reused in a different project. This is a great way to minimize waste and maximize a material’s usability, especially for materials like reinforced concrete, wooden frames, and high-value materials like architectural moldings and hardwood floors.

3. Procure Reusable Materials

When planning the materials you’ll use, try looking into eco-friendly, reusable materials like wood, metal, plastic, glass, and concrete. Doing this will leave you with recyclable waste instead of regular waste that will just get sent off to a landfill.

4. Ensure Recycling Bins are Properly Labeled and Accessible

Recycling bins and waste receptacles should be readily available on the construction site and placed close to the areas with the most waste generation so workers can access them easily. This can make recycling easier than having to sort through bins containing multiple types of waste.

5. Dispose of Hazardous Waste Properly

Wastes like lead, asbestos, and mercury are some of the hazardous wastes that construction sites produce. These can negatively impact the environment when not handled properly, so your organization should have appropriate protocols on correct hazardous waste handling and disposal.

How can a Digital Checklist Benefit my Company?

The amount of waste produced each year on construction sites is unfathomable—600 million tons in the U.S. construction industry alone. It’s easy to improperly dispose of regular and hazardous waste to cut corners and save on time and money; however, it’s important we all do our part in keeping our planet safe and clean for the generations that will come after us. And this starts with a proper waste disposal plan.

Lumiform is a great way to keep track of your company’s waste management to avoid environmental fines and keep the worksite clean. With the mobile app and desktop software, you can establish a plan, ensure your employees are following through, and complete site inspections 40% faster than with old-fashioned pen and paper.

Digitized checklists from Lumifomr offer construction site managers the following advantages:

  • Conduct audits on your construction site’s waste management plan 50% faster with the app. You can take and upload pictures of any waste disposal errors to share with your colleagues.
  • The flexible form builder kit allows you to digitize custom paper lists in minutes. After that, you can easily edit and revamp your checklists at the click of a button.
  • Lumiform guides employees through the audit, so there’s no need for time-consuming, specialized training.
  • Lumiform automatically records data on how effective your waste management plan is and bundles it into a digital report for you to review and analyze.
  • Have real-time updates of on-site waste disposal practices. If anything goes wrong, you’ll be notified immediately, so you can assign corrective action to responsible employees—even if you’re not on-site.

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Diggers and construction machines sorting building rubble on a construction site
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