Construction and demolition material
Construction and demolition (C & D) waste consists mostly of excavated material (soil and rock), concrete, bricks and masonry items, timber, plasterboard and packaging material. C& D waste makes up about 29 per cent* of the waste disposed of to landfill in Sydney. In 2004-05 over 1.9 million tonnes of C & D wastes was disposed of in NSW while 3.1 million tonnes, or 62 per cent, was recycled. (* Source NSW Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Performance Report 2006 - 2004-05 data)
Recycling of C & D wastes is on the increase in NSW. A huge range of materials is being recycled including soil, bricks, asphalt, concrete, timber, tiles and metal. The NSW Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2007 indicates that the industry recycled approximately 3.1 million tonnes or 62 per cent of the total generated in NSW.
The NSW government funds about a third of all construction activity in NSW including roads, schools and hospitals. During the past few years, the government has used its purchasing power to effect changes in industry practice by implementing policies to improve safety, contractual relationships, innovation and environmental performance. These policies are set out in the 'Procurement System for Construction' strategy.
The WRAPP complements this strategy and targets a range of construction and demolition materials. Full list and description of C & D material categories.
Agencies should be aware of the importance of safe disposal of asbestos waste. The Think Asbestos website contains information on removing or working with building materials that contain asbestos, which can release asbestos fibres creating a health risk.
- Consider using recycled content products and materials where possible. Check the performance of recycled content products to ensure they meet engineering specifications.
- Tell suppliers that you want to use recycled content products where possible.
- Accurately estimate the quantities of materials required for the job to avoid over-supply.
- Engage a recovery contractor to remove recoverable materials from the site.
- Avoid over-ordering and materials being damaged on-site, look for 'just in time' delivery options for all materials.
- Return over-supplied quantities to the supplier.
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- Use building designs that minimise the generation of waste during construction.
- When designing a new building, ensure there is adequate service space for separation of waste into different streams: e.g. paper, co-mingled and general waste bins and cardboard compactor.
- Consider the durability of materials and future cost savings of buying an item once but reusing it in a number of ways over the life of the building.
- Use fixtures/materials in fit-outs that can be reused in later refurbishments.
- Plan to order and use materials (such as partition dividers) in standard sizes to reduce off-cuts and waste and to enable interchanging of parts when offices are redesigned.
- Include clauses in contracts that discourages over-supply of materials and generation of waste.
- Plan to use excess or waste materials effectively, for example:
- identify which waste materials will be generated (e.g. concrete, timber, plasterboard, fill etc) and determine how they could be reused
- coordinate use of materials between jobs - excess materials can be used on other sites if necessary
- maximise separation of wastes and minimise contamination of recoverable materials.
- advertise the availability of free recovered waste materials locally
- Work around land features to avoid unnecessary excavation and removal of vegetation cover.
- Minimise the handling and transport of materials on and off-site.
- Investigate local opportunities to recover and recycle waste products via local waste contractors, councils, other infrastructure projects, government agencies and councils etc.
- Extend refurbishment and replacement cycles
- When relocating, try to reuse furniture and fittings instead of buying new ones. Larger agencies may set up a furniture store for unwanted furniture, for use in other locations where possible.
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- Develop and enforce a site waste management and recovery plan. The plan will vary depending on the size and type of job and should outline materials to be targeted, sources of waste, responsibilities, training, measuring performance and minimisation practices.
- Coordinate and communicate the plan to site project managers, supervisors, workers and contractors.
- Establish a specific area within the site for the storage and removal of different streams of recovered waste materials. It should be secure and access restricted to authorised personnel.
- Ensure new and undamaged recovered waste materials are kept separate.
- Collect data and record the movement of waste and recovered waste materials on and off the site. Require contractors to supply this information as part of the contract.
- Stockpile unused or waste materials for future use. Ensure stockpiles are well managed
- Reuse off-cuts where possible.
- Store off-cuts that are of a reasonable size and condition for use in smaller maintenance jobs.
- Organise with suppliers for pallet returns with follow-on deliveries.
- Consider using fly ash, the by-product from coal-powered plants as a component of concrete to reduce the use of virgin materials.
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- Mulch and reuse vegetation wastes in landscaping.
- Crush large quantities of concrete, bricks and hard materials and use as roadbase, footings (if they meet the specification - see the Greenspec) retaining walls, drainage etc.
- Broken pallets can be 'cannibalised' to repair others for reuse.
Page last updated: 27 February 2011