How Is Construction Waste Recycled

Of late, the pollution levels on Earth have skyrocketed.

Construction waste adds significantly to the waste generated in any area. To ensure that it doesn’t become a source of worry after some time, one must be responsible while disposing of it.

Recycling construction waste is one of the easiest ways to deal with it. In addition to that, it’s also environmentally friendly. Though the means to recycle waste differs from country to country, the broad concept remains the same.

So, how is construction waste recycled? Read on to find the answer to that question!


What Is Construction Waste?

The waste generated when a building is being renovated, demolished, or constructed is known as construction waste. Since the entire process of building a structure is quite long, construction waste consists of many kinds of things. Thus, the method of recycling depends on what material is being recycled. 


Kinds Of Construction Waste And Ways To Recycle It


1. Masonry

When a masonry building is demolished, a considerable quantity of masonry waste is created, but recycling it is relatively easy. Firstly, it needs to be crushed. This crushed material can be utilized as masonry aggregate for providing thermal insulation. Apart from this, the aggregate can be used along with classic red bricks.


2. Brick

Bricks are the other consequences of a demolished building. They may be of many kinds, like plaster, mortar or timber, and you might find them all blended together. The process of recycling them is similar to that of masonry since you must crush them first. Thereafter, you can use them as filling.


3. Concrete

This kind of waste usually gets left behind when an existing building is disassembled or some new kind of concrete is being tried out. To recycle it, it must be crushed firstly. After that, it can be used in trenches, for making roads, etc.


4. Cardboard And Paper

This accounts for a major chunk of construction waste and can be handed over to a recycling body that will deal with it.


5. Non-Ferrous And Ferrous Metals

Non-ferrous metals like lead and aluminium are common sights at a construction site. Apart from these, ferrous materials like steel and iron are also often found. Keep in mind that non-ferrous materials can’t be recycled; however, ferrous ones can. In fact, they can be recycled more than once.


6. Timber

Timber is another material that constitutes a large segment of construction waste. This is because most buildings require timber in some way or the other. The best thing about timber is that it can be used multiple times, although you’ll need to crop and clean it and remove the nails if any.


7. Plastic

Plastic is perhaps one of the biggest polluters globally, and it makes up a part of construction waste as well. In order to recycle plastic, it has to be separated from each other once it is discarded. But you should do this carefully because the plastic may often be adulterated with toxins.

Once you separate the plastic, you can approach any recycling unit, and they’ll finish the job. Recycled plastic is used in many day-to-day products such as panels, roofs, furniture, PVC, and floors. The practice of recycling plastic helps cut down the amount of waste plastic, thereby reducing the overall pollution levels of a region.


Methods Of Recycling

There are three major ways in which construction material is recycled. 


A. Site-Separated Method

This method entails separating the waste which is supposed to be recycled at the worksite itself. For this purpose, different containers can be designated for different kinds of rubbish. We recommend this method since it offloads extra burden on the recycling units and fosters the spirit of organization at the workplace. However, site-separated recycling takes up considerable space and needs near-constant supervision.


B. Commingled Recycling

This type of recycling involves putting all the waste together into one large container without separating it. The recycling unit then takes the container, and the material is processed and sent for reuse. So, this recycling style is desirable when the building owner doesn’t have enough space on their premises or enough workforce to sort through the waste.


C. Hybrid Recycling

When site-separated recycling and commingled recycling are practiced together, hybrid recycling occurs. This method is, in theory, the most ideal. Herein, one box each is earmarked for materials that are recyclable and materials that are not. This method saves money in the long run since it cuts down on hauling costs and decreases the amount of sorting that needs to be done.

To pick the right method for your firm, have your construction manager carefully analyze the project. After that, discuss and weigh the pros and cons of each way, and then come to a conclusion.


Options Other Than Recycling

Though the most sustainable option to get rid of construction waste is recycling, other ways can also be looked into.


A. Hiring A Skip

This would mean assigning the task of dealing with construction waste to specialized organizations that are experts at collection and disposal. If you engage their services, they’ll give you a skip bin into which all the waste has to be dumped. Thereafter, they take this bin to their facility and treat it accordingly.

This method is advisable because it gets rid of all the waste in one fell swoop and also reduces the amount of effort spent on dealing with the rubbish.


B. Selling The Waste

Construction waste recycling units often buy out the waste, as do scrap collectors. You can also sell the waste online through any website or app. 


C. Getting In Touch With Local Municipal Bodies

Sometimes, local governing bodies run recycling drives. Contact your local municipal office to find out if any such program is being run at the moment.


Final Thoughts

Climate change is a real threat to our future, and ineffective waste disposal contributes directly to rising temperatures. Hence, if everyone played their part and recycled waste, the volume of damage could be reduced.

Plus, with the passage of time, the political outlook toward such issues has also changed. Governments and law-making bodies realize the need for activities like recycling and often kickstart drives and programs to that effect.

So, make sure you recycle whatever you can, and if not, reduce consumption and reuse things!

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