The primary construction waste is gypsum board. Other common wastes generated from construction include: cardboard, metal, and wood.
Minimizing Construction Waste
Building design and construction planning can reduce waste, reduce construction costs and help qualify for (LEED) Green Building Rating System.
- "Designing out" waste by selecting standard component sizes, for example, makes the construction stage more time efficient and cost effective.
- Use dimensional planning and other material efficiency strategies. These strategies reduce the amount of building materials needed and cut construction costs. For example, design rooms on four foot multiples to conform to standard-sized wallboard and plywood sheets.
- Establish recycling systems onsite and make sure that both contractors and subcontractors receive instructions on sorting their own waste.
- An EPA study of 15 houses found an average waste generation of 6.14 pounds per square foot with a range from 2.41 to 11.30 pounds per square foot. Approximately 12 percent of gypsum board (drywall) is wasted during installation.
- Disposing of construction waste can cost up to six percent of the project cost.
Management of Construction Waste
Source separated recyclable materials are not wastes. This includes: cardboard, glass, metals, paper and plastics.
C & D Salvaged Material Outlets
Management as Clean Fill -
- The use of uncontaminated soil, rock, stone, gravel, brick and block, concrete and used asphalt as clean fill does not require a permit.
- The use of waste from land clearing, grubbing and excavation, including trees, brush, stumps and vegetative material as clean fill does not require a permit.
Use of Waste from Land Clearing, Grubbing and Excavation (LCGE) and the Use of Concrete or Other Clean Fill Materials Containing Protruding Rebar or Other Metal as Clean Fill (pdf) 254-2000-715