10 Ways to Reduce Waste in Home Building

January 19, 2022

Contractors use lots of materials to create sturdy structures. These items often end up in landfills and produce greenhouse gasses. Reducing waste helps the environment and saves money. In 2020, prices for building supplies increased 12.2%. So, consider these tips for minimizing waste in the construction industry.

1. Think Ahead

Before starting a project, it’s essential to have a plan. Preparing prevents major mistakes and wasted supplies. Think about the materials you need and the methods you’ll use. When ordering, know the exact number of supplies for the project. Also, think about the potential waste you may encounter. Provide recycling and trash bins on the job site. In addition, educate workers on waste sorting techniques.

2. Select Vendors Carefully

Look for companies that follow sustainable practices. This includes things like using recyclable materials for packaging and buying local products. Also, ensure your vendor can work with your schedule and handle the scope of the project. Research potential companies to find ones that work best for your business. Ask for referrals and check online reviews.

3. Consider Deconstruction

Use deconstruction as an alternative to demolition. Deconstruction is when you disassemble a building piece by piece. Repurpose the item you saved for future projects. For example, you can keep cabinets or light fixtures.

4. Recycle

Any materials you can’t reuse try to recycle. Having a recycling bin on the construction site makes this process more convenient. First, research what can go into the containers. Certain components of building structures, such as baths or sinks are recyclable.

Here are a few more items you can add to the bin:

  • Asphalt
  • Brick
  • Concrete
  • Carpeting
  • Cardboard
  • Drywall

Get to know your local recycling companies. Learn more about what items they take. In addition, find ones that accept mixed debris, so you don’t have to sort through it yourself.

5. Donate Supplies

Any material you end up throwing in the dumpster ends up in landfills. Landfills produce methane gas, which contributes to climate change. Plus, the waste can leak into oceans harming marine life. So, sort through your supplies to see what you can donate. Give away things like appliances, doors or fixtures. You can donate these materials to places like Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

6. Use Cellulose for Insulation

Insulation is essential for keeping a home warm and saving energy. Common materials used, such as polyurethane, emit high amounts of greenhouse gasses. Instead use cellulose, which is made from recycled newspaper. Plus, the product is treated with fire-resistant elements to improve safety.

7. Limit Your Packaging

In 2018, packing accounted for 82.2 million tons of solid waste. To reduce waste, work directly with your vendors. Have them limit the amount of plastic they use. Instead, have them focus on using recyclable products, like cardboard or paper. In addition, purchase items in bulk and use returnable containers.

8. Repurpose Scraps

Before cutting new materials, check your scrap pile. For example, don’t cut a new piece of wood if there is a smaller one already available. To help reuse items, place ones in good condition in a safe location. Then before selecting new supplies examine this pile. In addition, have subcontractors collect scraps at cutting and fabric locations. Keep in mind you can use chipping wood mulch if you don’t stain or paint it.

9. Keep the Site Organized

Having an organized space minimizes mistakes. Start by labeling and separating waste and recyclable containers. This saves you time and makes the waste management process more efficient. Also, move transported items closer to their destination site. That way you waste less gas.

10. Be Efficient When Painting

Paint is a simple way to transform any space. Yet, finding the right color can be tricky. So, try a sample before committing to one color. Also, determine how much paint you need for the whole room. You can use online tools, such as a paint calculator. Plus, buy supplies second-hand before heading to your home improvement store. When selecting paints, look for ones with low volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

How to Make Construction More Eco-Friendly

Building homes produces large amounts of waste. During demolition, many materials are thrown into the dumpster. To prevent this, follow these tips to conserve supplies and help the planet.


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