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Getting Started With a Waste Management Plan for Construction Sites

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Yellow Safety Helmet on Workplace Desk with Construction Worker Team Hands Shaking — Chicago, IL — Tri-State Disposal

Developing a waste management plan for your construction sites can benefit you and your business in several ways. You don’t have to develop a full overarching plan as you would with a permanent site, but even a quick plan can help you save time and money. Here are some tips to help with waste management at your construction sites.

Define Your Waste Management Goals

Having a plan requires you to have goals. Maybe you never thought about waste management goals, but there are quite a few that you can consider. Some goals you can implement include:

  • Lower operating costs
  • Increased efficiency
  • Smaller environmental footprint
  • Better compliance
  • Overall waste reduction
  • Increased sustainability

You can set a single goal, or multiple goals. When you set the goal, it helps to dictate every other aspect of your waste management plan. Your goals can change, especially as you figure out the waste management system that works best for your needs.

For example, you may want to increase efficiency. This can mean taking a closer look at the dumpsters you rent and how you use them at your construction sites. Once you have a good system going, refine your approach to include more sustainable ways to deal with your construction waste.

In the process, you can also satisfy other goals, even if they’re not part of your plan. For example, as you strive for more sustainability, you will likely lower your environmental footprint and reduce the overall amount of waste your operations produce in general.

The most important part about setting goals is that you make sure you set realistic ones. The goals and the objectives you set to meet those goals can start small.

In this way, you can make your goals specific, which also helps you to measure them without too much hassle. As you and your team continue with the new processes, you can start to grow your efforts to achieve larger goals.

Understand Your Waste and Document It

What type of waste does your construction site typically produce? You can perform a full waste audit, but if you don’t have the time, just take note of what ends up in your dumpsters. The more accurately you can document your waste, the better a waste management plan will work for you.

If you keep note of what you toss out the most, you may start to notice trends of what you throw out, and you can create ideas on what you can do with the waste. You can also look at the materials you start with and compare that to what you’re left with after a job ends.

With an understanding of your waste, you will likely start to see some possibilities you can use to create your waste management plan. A good next step to take is to look at your waste and apply four of the 5 R’s:

  • Refuse materials that aren’t necessary to the operation.
  • Reduce the amount of materials you think you need down to what you really need.
  • Reuse or salvage materials whenever possible.
  • Recycle everything you can.

The last R is rot, as in composting, but that doesn’t typically apply to construction sites. Looking at your waste through these concepts can help you develop several solutions or objectives to work toward. The words themselves can also mean multiple things for your construction waste.

For example, recycling doesn’t always mean choosing a dumpster rental strictly for recyclable materials. Recycling can also mean finding local businesses or smaller construction operations willing to purchase your site leftovers. Think outside the box with your waste management plan, and you may find other revenue streams for your waste.

Manage Your Waste According to Your Plan

You have a goal, and you know your waste well enough to implement a plan. Whether it’s for one or multiple sites, you can start chasing objectives. Write out your plan, find a waste management plan template online, or use software and apps to document your progress.

You can start to separate your waste in ways to facilitate your plan. Maybe that means switching up the ways you dispose of waste materials. Maybe you will handle waste materials in different ways. No matter what, always stick to your goals and always strive to improve your waste management process.

Waste management plans require a team effort. When coming up with waste management goals, talk to the people you work with.

When it’s time to start acting on your goals, make sure everyone knows what role they will play in the process. In addition, if you hire subcontractors or others who will work at your sites, make sure they’re fully aware of your waste management expectations.

A good waste management plan requires a professional waste management and dumpster rental service. At Tri-State Disposal, we offer commercial waste management services to accommodate your goals. For help with your construction waste management, contact us today.

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