Are you a contractor who spends too much money dealing with waste at every project? With a little bit of planning, you can save a lot of money on the job site. After all, money should be spent on materials and paying your team, not on dealing with trash.
Being intentional about your construction waste management process can save you a lot of headaches, a lot of time, and a lot of money. But where should you start?
You have to take into consideration the entire project from start to finish. It starts with planning the project, ordering materials for the project, how your team handles the project, and what waste management conveniences are available.
Wondering how to make this happen? Keep reading to discover the best ways to manage debris and save money.
Why Is There So Much Waste?
First off, it helps to understand why there is so much waste after each project. If you know where it’s coming from, you may be able to limit or eliminate this source of waste altogether.
For starters, waste comes from demolition. If you are performing a remodeling project, you’re going to have to remove the existing materials to replace them with new materials.
Take a kitchen for example. Outdated cabinets are typically smashed to bits and tossed into the dumpster, which takes up tons of space. Instead of breaking them, however, what about removing them from the kitchen and taking them to a second-hand construction store like Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore?
On top of demolition, a lot of waste stems from mistakes made by your team. When poor cuts are made, or people aren’t paying attention to the work they are doing, they can damage materials, making them useless.
As well, over-ordering your materials lead to excess that you might to have a place to store, so they end up needing to go in the trash. But luckily, there are simple ways to manage construction debris and reduce the amount of waste you need to dispose of, helping you to save money.
Train Your Team for Construction Waste Management
First and foremost, having a trained team is critical. If your subcontractors or employees aren’t equipped to do the job right the first time, they are going to waste a lot of money by handling materials poorly.
Investing in training for new team members might take extra time and money upfront, but will help save you money on every subsequent project. Not only will they waste fewer materials, but they will be more productive, getting the job done faster.
Order the Right Amount of Materials
This one’s on you. Ordering too many materials, either out of negligence or on purpose to make up for mistakes, is wasteful. You want to be able to accurately plan the exact amount of material needed and buy one or two extra, and that’s it.
And it’s become easier than ever to do so. By using the latest construction estimating software, you’ll be able to plan and purchase the precise amount of materials so there isn’t a surplus at the end of the job.
Recycling as much of the waste as possible will save you money and save the environment. As mentioned earlier, many materials that you would normally demolish may be donated. By donating to thrift stores or second-hand construction stores, you can give these materials new life.
You can also donate surplus materials that you purchased to keep them out of the landfill.
Renting a Dumpster
You’re going to need a construction waste disposal dumpster. Many companies specialize in delivering large dumpsters to construction sites and residential properties.
Find a company in your area and develop a relationship with them. You may be able to secure better rates if you commit to using them on each project.
But make sure you understand the waste disposal policies. Most of the time, all construction waste can be tossed into a dumpster. But old appliances can’t, as they aren’t allowed in the landfill. By throwing those old kitchen appliances into a dumpster, you could incur extra fees.
Instead, build a relationship with either a recycling facility nearby or with individuals who either restore appliances or take them apart to sell the materials.
Choose the Largest Dumpster You Can Get
It can be tempting to order a smaller dumpster in order to save a few dollars. Don’t do it.
Construction waste will always be greater than you anticipate. Consider a large dumpster rental for every project, as they are more cost-effective.
For example, you might pay a certain amount for a 10-yard dumpster, but only have to pay $20 more for a 15-yard dumpster. That extra space in the dumpster is incredibly valuable, and you’ll find you will always fill the largest dumpster anyway.
Learn to Fill It Correctly
In order to maximize your waste management space in your dumpster, you need to be strategic with how you fill it. Always plan to dispose of the largest, heaviest items first.
These are the hardest to dispose of. You need to ensure there’s enough space for these before tossing anything else.
Then, when throwing away everything else, consider where it goes in the dumpster. Everything can be arranged inside the dumpster to maximize space, allowing for the greatest amount of waste to fit.
Break Down Large Items
Construction debris management comes down to how your team handles materials. If you load your dumpsters by tossing in huge, bulky items, it will ineffectively fill the dumpster, leaving gaps of air throughout.
Instead, it’s best to break down larger items where possible. Instead of tossing entire sheets of old wood, quickly snap them or cut them into smaller pieces so they can fit into the dumpster in the most efficient way possible.
Construction waste management isn’t hard. Saving money during your remodeling projects isn’t difficult.
It takes a bit of planning ahead of time, and it takes a bit of intentionality during the actual project. But it’s always worth the effort if it means keeping more of your hard-earned money, either to be invested back into your company or to pay yourself a little better.
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