Types of Construction Waste Materials

Types of Construction Waste Materials

Construction is a business that tends to have many different sources of waste. This makes sense considering the many different materials that are used in construction work. But many people may ask, what exactly are these types of construction waste? Are they easily recognizable? Then there are further questions like, are they hazardous? Can they be non-hazardous? Construction projects will likely have a mix of both. Because of this, it is imperative to know the different waste types so you can identify them and be able to properly dispose of them. A huge part of safety at construction sites is knowing what materials are hazardous and how to work around them. There are materials that will need to be disposed of by special environmental services, and then there will be others that can be dumped normally. It is important to also know which materials can be recycled in order to work towards a more sustainable industry. Here, we will look further into the various types of construction waste materials.

Building Materials

Building materials are some of the most prominent types of materials used in construction. There are many varieties of construction projects. Whether they are basic construction, demolition, restoration, or remodeling projects, there will always be a use of building materials, and with that comes building material waste. Some of the most common examples of these materials are nails, wiring, insulation, rebar, wood, plaster, scrap metal, cement, and bricks. When these materials turn into waste, a lot of times it’s because they are damaged. In some cases, though, it’s because they were simply unused. The good news about these materials is that a lot of them can be recycled. A specific material that can be reused in many ways is wood. Any time there is wood waste, it can be recovered to be reused for new building projects. Disposal for these kinds of waste is usually pretty basic, but they still need to be disposed of in proper ways. Cement, plaster, and bricks are generally crushed down and can be used in future building projects. As long of the material is contained in a proper dumpster, a recycling or waste management company will come to collect it.

Dredging Materials

Dredging materials are described as materials that get removed through the preparation of a demolition or construction site. To put it simply, these are parts of nature such as trees, tree stumps, rocks, dirt, and sometimes rubble. These are generally not materials that are considered hazardous, but they should be collected by a waste management company that can provide the proper waste disposal and trash removal for dredging materials. Specific materials that can be reused from this waste such as wood from uprooted trees can be taken to a plant for recycling. Proper recycling and disposal of natural resources are some of the most important aspects of the disposal of dredging materials.

Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste is one of the most important types of construction waste materials you must be able to identify and handle. Not only can this kind of waste be dangerous to those working around and handling it, but it can also present dangers to the general public if not managed properly. Hazardous waste can be produced at sites of construction, demolition, restoration, and remodeling projects. Much of the waste can come from the common material used for building. Some of the most prominent examples of the hazardous waste that comes out of construction are lead, asbestos, plasterboard, paint thinners, strippers, mercury, fluorescent bulbs, and aerosol cans. The proper disposal of these hazardous materials is an area where environmental cleanup companies come in handy. Hazardous material disposal is regulated under strict state and federal laws. Failing to follow any of these regulations can not only result in exposure of people and the environment to dangerous toxins but can also bring hefty fines and punishments.

Demolition Waste Materials

There are specific types of waste that are prevalent in demolition projects. Due to this, they tend to get broken down into a few sub-types. Asbestos and insulation are major types of demolition waste, and they are also very hazardous materials. Asbestos can increase the risk of lung disease and cancers. This is because asbestos can produce very fine flakes that can be easily inhaled. However, there is insolation that is not made entirely out of asbestos. The problem is that even if the insolation contains a small amount of asbestos, it’ still incredibly hazardous. Another sub-type of demolition waste is non-asbestos- containing materials like concrete, bricks, tiles, and ceramics. Reinforced concrete is very valuable to recycle, as it can be reused to make new concrete. This kind of material can be crushed up on the site of the project it is being used for. This will keep the costs of transport low as there will be less need for vehicle use. Wood, glass, and plastic fall under a third sub-type of demolition waste materials. Wood from these sites can be disposed of the same way as mentioned above. Plastic is a major source of the volume of waste created on demolition and construction projects. Part of this is because plastic is mixed into many materials that are used to construct buildings. Many of the plastics that require proper disposal are Styrofoam, PVC siding, and PEX pipes.

Treated Materials Containing Hazardous Substances

Many types of construction projects use specially treated woods, glass, and plastics that typically contain hazardous substances. There are also bituminous mixtures that contain coal tar, which are also usually hazardous. There are also many metals like copper, bronze, brass, aluminum, iron, steel, and tin, all of which are classified as non-hazardous. Some hazardous metals that need to be kept in mind are cables containing oil, coal tar, and other hazardous substances. Then there are soils and stones that can be contaminated with hazardous substances. An example of this would be any material that has a presence of fragments of asbestos, as well as asbestos-containing materials. Gypsum materials such as drywall and other masonry waste can be categorized as hazardous if they contain dangerous substances as well. And finally, paints, varnishes, adhesives, and sealants that contain solvents will also be categorized as hazardous waste. It is best to know if you are using any treated materials to investigate if they are considered hazardous or not, which will make the disposal process of such materials that much easier.

Types of Construction Waste Materials

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