How To Effectively Dispose of Your Construction Waste

There is a significant portion of waste that comes from construction materials, and unfortunately, much of this waste ends up in the landfill. According to a report by the Australian Government, a total of 19 million tonnes of construction and demolition (C&D) waste was generated in the year 2008-2009, and more than 8 million tonnes were landfilled, leaving the others to be recycled.

Thinking of disposing of your construction materials and wondering what to do with your old, unused or broken construction debris?

Well, don’t worry.

Although it’s quite a big challenge to dispose of your construction materials, there are some disposal options you can use to manage your construction waste efficiently. Take some time planning the best waste disposal practices and you can dispose of your construction waste by implementing the best environmentally friendly disposal solutions.

In this article, we are going to talk about some of the effective ways to dispose of your construction materials.

Reuse, recycle, dispose- what to do?

According to the types of C&D waste materials, you can consider the options of reusing or recycling. Some recyclable construction materials (e.g. masonry, windows, doors, roofing, cardboard and paper, plastic containers, etc.) can be used again or recycled depending on their condition.

On the contrary, some materials have a harmful impact to the environment and our health when they are released. For instance, landfilling plasterboard can produce poisonous gases like hydrogen sulphide. The best way to manage these hazardous substances is to get rid of them entirely, and disposal can help you in this regard.

Which construction materials get disposed of?

When construction materials turn into by-products in the form of debris or trash, we can identify them as hazardous construction materials.

Here is a comprehensive list of construction waste materials that you can dispose of:

  • Asbestos and Asbestos-containing materials
  • Asphalt and Asphalt shingles
  • Brick, drywall and masonry block
  • Carpets
  • Concrete, ceramic and porcelain
  • Tile and mirror
  • Toilets, sinks and bathtubs
  • Lead and mercury-containing materials
  • Untreated wood; plywood, particleboard, pallets etc.

How to effectively dispose of your construction waste?

Now let us have a look at some common construction materials and ways to dispose of them.

1. Dispose of brick

Because of its size, it’s comparatively easy to get rid of old or damaged bricks and if you are looking at getting them off your hands, with some effective brick-disposal options, you can quickly dispose of them. Here are some of the options to dispose of your old bricks-

  • A suitable and cost-effective way to remove bulk amount of your old bricks is to rent a dumpster. Depending on the size and weight of the dumpster, you can load and offload up to 10 tons of debris. An advantage of renting a roll-off dumpster is that allows you to get rid of old bricks along with other types of debris. The disadvantage is that you have to load up the trash yourself.
  • Find a local junk removal service if there is one nearby. Hiring this service can be an ideal low-cost disposal option, particularly if you are looking at disposing of small amounts of brick. Their services also include loading up your materials in the truck.
  • If you are smart when disposing of your bricks you could be better off hauling them yourself. All you need is to determine how many bricks you have, and a big truck with enough space for your load. This is an excellent low-cost disposal option. Be careful while choosing the vehicle and cost according to your needs.

2. Dispose of concrete

Throwing away your old concrete is not a good idea. So what do you do with old and unused concrete? What option will you choose to dispose of it?

Here are some concrete disposal options:

  • If you’re lucky, you’ll have access to a pickup truck. If not, then hire one. Be careful while loading; make sure that you do not overload the vehicle because it will make it heavy, which will cause the vehicle to fail or strain the engine severely.
  • You can consider contacting a building materials supply company- one who operate large-scale operations along with a large fleet of a cement mixers or gravel-hauling dump trucks- who may take your old concrete. Some of them do that free of charge, hauling and unloading your concrete at their location.
  • Another good idea to dispose of your old concrete is to put a “free” sign beside your pile of concrete, which may catch the eye of some concrete-needing passerby. Although it sounds unusual, it’s worth a try.

3. Asbestos

Asbestos is a hazardous material that has adverse health effects and environmental impact. Removing asbestos can be a complicated process, so it’s better to hire a licensed professional to dispose of it. While disposing of asbestos, make sure that the company you hire follow all the rules and regulations laid out in the NSW Government regulations.

Before taking your asbestos for landfill, you will need to contact the local council to see whether they accept asbestos or not. Also, you will have to fulfil their requirements to access their services for delivering asbestos. Finally, you need to book in advance to dispose of your asbestos. It is safer to book at least 24 hours before.

You can manage asbestos risks by: 

  • Identifying the area where asbestos is found and immediately informing the relevant authorities
  • Assessing the risk of exposure to airborne asbestos
  • Eliminating or minimising the risk by implementing preventive measures
  • Reviewing control measures to see whether they are efficient or not

4. Untreated timber and timber products

Untreated wood and wood materials (e.g. plywood, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), particleboard, etc.) that are contaminated can be disposed of. Containing dangerous toxic chemicals, they can put risk to human’s health and the environment when they are exposed.

If you want to get rid of bulk quantities of untreated timbers entirely, take them to the city landfill. All you need to do is hire a haulier that can carry all of your waste materials and take them to the landfill centre.

Consequences of illegal waste disposal

Illicit dumping of waste can result in penalties including a large fine, or possibly even jail time. According to the Environmental Protection Agency website, the maximum penalty for unintentionally supplying misleading information about waste is $250,000 for a company, where the amount for an individual is $120,000.

The amount is doubled if the information is supplied knowingly, which is $500,000 for a corporation and $240,000 for an individual, or a penalty of 18 months of imprisonment. Or in some cases, both.

Here is a good example by NetRegs to manage construction waste -

What to consider before hiring a waste management company?

If you are still figuring out what to do with your construction waste, you can consider hiring a waste removal company. There are plenty of them, although it is quite challenging to find the right one for you.

While hiring a waste removal service provider, be sure that you consider the following:

  • Ensure that the provider you are hiring is reliable enough to manage your waste. Also, make sure that they provide a service agreement.
  • Price is another important consideration you must make while looking for waste management services. Examine their more cost-effective options and ensure they provide quality services at an affordable rate.
  • Ever wondered where all of your waste goes? While hiring a waste management company, make sure that the company has a responsible waste disposal service. Also, look to see if the company make efforts to conserve the environment while disposing of waste.
  • The service provider you are looking at must have excellent customer service, and be able to handle issues professionally.

So what are you waiting for? Prepare yourself to dispose of construction waste and choose the best options from our outlined strategies. If you are looking for a waste management company to make your waste disposal efforts more convenient Metropolitan Transfer Station is there to provide the best waste removal solution for you.

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