Construction Waste Management: Challenges and Considerations

Effective techniques to minimize and manage construction site wasteAbout half of the solid waste generated worldwide are from building materials. There is an environmental impact of building material at every step of the building process – extraction of raw materials, processing, manufacturing, transportation, construction and finally disposal.

According to this Construction and Demolition Waste Status Report, “…total of 19.0 million tonnes of construction and demolition (C&D) waste was generated in Australia in 2008-09. Of this total waste stream, 8.5 million tonnes was disposed to landfill while 10.5 million tonnes, or 55%, was recovered and recycled.”

It is essential for governments and authorities to consider that the built environment of the future is being constructed at the beginning of a new ecological era. Governments must now respond to the challenges of environmental sustainability, and industry must respond to the challenges of low-carbon economies and resource depletion.

If we are to move towards sustainable development, we can no longer rely on reclamation/landfills to accept most of the inert construction waste. Although there are many initiatives to reduce and reuse construction waste, a substantial amount of materials still require disposal, either at public fill reception facilities or at landfills. Landfills also pose a great threat to health and safety.


During the planning phase of the construction project, it is important to understand what excess materials are likely to be generated and then focus on how the generation of those excess materials can either be avoided or the material can be diverted from landfill.

Reducing, reusing and recycling your construction waste can bring many benefitsIt is now prudent and good practice to develop a construction waste management plan. The key objectives of any construction waste management plan should be to:

  • Minimise the amount of waste generated as part of the project
  • Maximise the amount of material which is sent for reuse, recycling or reprocessing
  • Minimise the amount of material sent to landfill

The document Construction Waste Management: Plan Guidelines highlights some key elements for developing and implementing a construction waste management plan:

  1. Waste streams: identify which waste streams are likely to be generated and estimate the approximate amounts of material
  2. Focus on waste avoidance: instead of managing the waste once it has been generated, look at ways to avoid the generation of that waste in the first place
  3. Services: select an appropriately qualified waste management contractor who will provide services for the waste streams generated and data on waste/recycling generation
  4. On-site: understand how the waste management system will work on-site, including bin placement and access
  5. Clearly assign and communicate responsibilities: ensure that those involved in the construction are aware of their responsibilities in relation to the construction waste management plan
  6. Engage and educate personnel: be clear about how the various elements of the waste management plan will be implemented and ensure personnel have an opportunity to provide feedback on what is/isn’t working
  7. Monitor: to ensure the plan is being implement, monitor on-site
  8. Evaluate: once the project is complete, evaluate your estimates in the plan against the actual data for waste generated and consider feedback from personnel.

To help you improve the management of waste on construction sites, ProjectLink has listed out some innovative solutions. These techniques and methodologies would help you ensure that the optimum levels of waste reduction, reuse and recycling are achieved. Be in the know to encourage increased diversion of construction waste from landfill.



Top Tech Tools to Mitigate Risks in Construction Projects

Top tools and techniques for mitigating risks in construction projectsThe construction industry accounts for more than 8% of Australia’s GDP. Like all businesses, the construction industry is working towards improved processes and business efficiencies. Construction projects are complex and have many stakeholders – it is important for project management to follow proper processes and be ready for all kinds of challenges.

A good construction project management plan will always have thoroughly identified risks and a risk management plan. Risk management is the identification, assessment, and prioritization of risks. The objective of risk management is to assure uncertainty does not deflect the endeavor from the business goals.

The “Mitigation of Risk in Construction: Strategies for Reducing Risk and Maximizing Profitability SmartMarket Report” published by McGraw_Hill Construction has identified the following factors as the most significant risks facing the industry:

  • Changes in schedule/ scope creep
  • Budget/cost overruns
  • Project process approvals
  • Safety
  • Site Conditions

Risk Management Strategies for Construction

On closely observing the risks listed above, we notice that many of these factors are under the direct control of the project firm.  This reinforces the fact “that mitigation strategies can directly have a positive impact.”

The recommendations that emerge from the McGraw_Hill report offers practical solutions:

  • Address risk early in the project to reap its full benefits.
  • Communicate with other team members throughout the project.
  • Implement a rigorous risk assessment and mitigation process.
  • Embed risk management into your firm’s culture.
  • Engage in activities that reduce the likelihood of litigation.
  • Build a strong project team and assess the value of more formal collaboration, such as integrated design.

Ultimately, the report states “good project management must include good risk management”.

In this post, we discuss the top technology tools that can help you in managing and mitigating risks on construction projects. Risk management tools and techniques can be used at various stages of construction – from concept design to final site execution and even in the operation stages to determine whether business goals are being met.

So let’s jump in and get started…


Maintenance Tips to Keep your Construction Equipment in Operation

Top maintenance tips to extend construction equipment life and ROIThe construction industry is an ever growing industry. The compass of construction industry stretches from houses and buildings to public spaces and transportation system. This industry stands on the pillars of specializations like architecture, civil and environmental engineering, construction management, industrial design and manufacturing, landscaping design, interior design and planning, financial management etc. Each of these sections put to use construction equipment and machinery that aid in the process of construction. Therefore the maintenance of these heavy machinery becomes important.

When the construction equipment are regularly checked and maintained, they last longer in comparison to those that have not been serviced often. Regular maintenance of heavy machinery reduces the repair costs, increases the longevity of the machinery and adds resale value if you intend to sell it. Operating cost is also important while running these machines. Construction machinery require fuel or electricity to run. Heavy duty equipment run on fuel of some kind. When these equipment are not up-to-date, these will use more fuel and energy than usual. This increases the operating cost. So, in order to reduce the cost of operation, regular maintenance and servicing of these construction equipment is required.

Have your own set of guidelines and rules to maintain your construction equipmentConstruction equipment maintenance tips can be divided into sections. Each section is based on suggestions about how to improve the work quality of the construction equipment and how to reduce the overall cost.
A) Follow the Maintenance Schedule of the Construction Equipment
B) Set a Routine and Adhere to it
C) Have your Own Set of Guidelines and Rules
D) Use it Wisely

Classification of Construction Equipment:

On a large scale, the construction equipment can be divided into 4 sub categories. These are based on their functionality. These are as follows:

  • Construction Vehicles
  • Construction Equipment
  • Material Handling Equipment
  • Earth Moving Equipment

ProjectLink has an array of all the above construction equipment. Based on purpose, each category has a multiple choice of equipment to pick up from.

Let’s take a look at each category and the construction equipment maintenance tips to go along with it >>