Construction Waste

Construction waste is any substance, material, or object that is produced during the construction process and then discarded. This debris can include excess materials from site clearance, construction, excavation, renovation, refurbishment, demolition, and even road construction. Construction waste consists of a vast array of materials. In addition, there are dangerous wastes that cannot be recycled.

Have you heard of it? According to Construction & Demolition Recycling, global construction waste production will nearly quadruple to 2,2 billion tonnes yearly by 2020. For effective waste management, it is necessary to identify and categorise the many types of garbage. In light of this, let’s examine the many sorts of construction debris.

Here Are The Top 8 Forms Of Construction Waste

According on the type of material, construction waste can be categorised as follows:

1. Dredging Materials

Dredging materials are things or substances that are removed from a construction or demolition site during the site’s preparation process. A few examples of dredging materials include trees, tree stumps, mud, pebbles, and stumps.

2. Insulation And Asbestos Materials

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that gives resistance to heat and corrosion. Due to these qualities, asbestos is employed in a variety of building materials. Asbestos-containing materials include floor backing, gaskets, resilient floor tile, asphalt roofing, pipe insulation, ceiling and wall insulation, sprayed-on fireproofing, thermal pipe insulation and boiler coatings, ceiling tiles, and formerly non-friable material that has been damaged. Asbestos-containing materials are extremely toxic and constitute a threat to human health.

3. Concrete, Bricks, Tiles, And Ceramics

The below list excludes asbestos-containing materials :

  • Concrete – Non-hazardous
  • Brick – Non-hazardous
  • Tiles and ceramics – Non-hazardous
  • Concrete, bricks, tiles, and ceramics (alone or in mixtures) containing hazardous substances – Hazardous
  • Concrete, bricks, tiles, and ceramics in mixtures, containing no hazardous substances – Non-Hazardous

The majority of building and demolition debris consists of concrete and bricks, which are dumped in landfills. However, these can be recycled by reducing them to rubble.

4. Wood, Glass, And Plastic

Temporary constructions and dwellings that are demolished generate wood, glass, and plastic debris. These non-inert items can be recycled or reused, and then disposed of in a landfill as a last resort.

Plywood, wood chips, dimension lumber, shavings, and sawdust are examples of waste materials consisting primarily of wood from new construction. In addition to this, building waste plastics are utilised in new construction. This consists of PVC, PVC siding, plumbing pipe, plastic sheeting, and Styrofoam insulation. Glass resources consist of discarded window and door panes, glass from skylights, and glass shelves. When untreated or uncontaminated, the majority of these materials are non hazardous, however they may occasionally include hazardous compounds.

5. Metallic Waste

Copper, bronze, brass, aluminium, lead, iron and steel, tin, and mixed metals are all non-hazardous and easily recyclable construction waste materials. However, metals carrying hazardous compounds, cables containing oil, and coal tar are extremely hazardous materials that must be handled with care.

6. Drywall

On a construction site, there might be vast quantities of waste brick and drywall. Drywall is typically created with gypsum wallboard, and most leftover wallboard is discarded when a building is constructed.

7. Cement

Waste during construction also refers to surplus cement mix that is left over after the work is completed, as well as rejection/demolition resulting from a change in design or poor execution. It is essential to realise that unused or unhardened cement is always harmful.

8. Paints, Varnishes, Adhesives & Sealants

Paints, varnishes, adhesives, and sealants used in new construction that are abandoned or discarded as a result of an accident. Extremely hazardous garbage includes paint cans, paint removers, varnish remover, organic solvents, glue containers, and sealant containers.

Sources indicate that about ninety percent of building debris is inert or non-hazardous. These items are recoverable, reusable, and recyclable. However, the remaining 10% consists of non-recyclable, non-hazardous, and hazardous waste items. The hazardous construction waste materials consist of contaminated soil, residual paints, solvent, aerosol cans, asbestos, paint thinners, striping paint, and polluted empty containers, whereas the non-inert elements consist of trees, green vegetation, rubbish, and other organic components.

Final Thoughts

To control the quantity of construction waste generated, “reduce, reuse, and recycle” programmes are necessary due to the escalating levels of building waste. However, insufficient resources, a lack of standards, thin profit margins, regulatory indifference, and a scarcity of environmental education are impeding its growth.

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