What has very quickly become apparent during this period of disruption is that those services essential to our survival cover a much broader scope than people might have previously realized. In addition to frontline services, we are utterly dependent on food preparation and distribution, supermarkets and online stores, waste management services, and recycling facilities.

The construction industry, for example, is still active in many parts of the country, ensuring that large infrastructure projects and property developments do not further compound an economic slowdown a global shutdown. Certain states have also made the distinction between essential and non-essential construction work, only allowing projects such as infrastructure, hospitals, and affordable housing to continue. However, each state has its own guidelines as to exactly what constitutes essential.

But, how does another essential service, that of construction waste management, keep up with demand while disposing and recycling waste efficiently? Here we look at solutions for dealing with construction waste, on both the commercial and residential level and how projects can reduce the burden on this vital supporting service.

Waste management and the construction industry

As of 2017, the construction industry generated around 569 million tons of waste, twice that of municipal solid waste (MSW) generation in the US. More than 90% of this figure was associated with demolition, with the remaining waste generation coming from construction itself. The importance of dealing with that waste efficiently and effectively then, cannot be underestimated, since most construction work cannot continue without its timely waste removal. Luckily, today, most waste management services in the US are operating as usual, albeit while workers practice social distancing measures and other mitigation techniques to ensure safety.

Using on-demand services

Among the most responsive solutions to dealing with construction and demolition waste during this type of crisis is the use of on-demand services. Not only can on-demand collections help with the removal of large amounts of different types of waste, but they also help to minimize human-to-human contact through more efficient collection and distribution.

On-demand also allows your team to arrange the removal of waste in a more punctual manner than by using conventional waste management services. This may be critical to keeping construction projects moving forward, particularly as more workers are forced to stay at home or other industries and supply chains are restricted, which will likely impact construction project schedules and timelines.

Reducing the burden on waste management services

Waste reduction across all industries is fast becoming a priority, and particularly so in the construction industry. Waste materials such as concrete can be and are often recycled within developments themselves, used as foundational aggregate underneath buildings or as part of structures. However, during these challenging times, reducing the burden on restricted waste management services is crucial, allowing for resources to be optimally implemented where they are most needed.

Increasing the recycling of materials on site is one approach but, changing the raw materials used in construction should become a priority. Innovation in this area continues to grow, and many eco-friendly or recycled materials are now fully approved for construction use. Wherever possible, it is increasingly important to implement these kinds of materials into construction projects to reduce waste now.

Implementing LEED practices is another way to rethink the construction process end-to-end, and the US Green Building Council offers several resources when planning a new build.

Finally, ensuring that conventional construction and demolition waste is correctly sorted for recycling is another way to help waste management services operate more efficiently. When collected and distributed to recycling centers, correctly sorted waste is more efficiently processed and diverted away from landfill.

For access to on-demand collections and a broad range of other services, download the RTS app today or request an on-demand pickup.

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