C&D Waste Prevention Strategies
Designing projects whenever possible to accommodate standard dimensions of panels such as sheetrock, OSB or plywood, and dimensional lumber for framing will minimize waste. Sizing rooms, ceiling heights, joists, rafters and other components in 2 foot increments will help utilize standard dimensional lumber lengths. This will all result in minimal material waste.
You can further reduce framing waste by utilizing techniques such as increasing the spacing of joists and studs, and in-line framing.
Consider utilizing used or salvaged materials. Most used building materials can be installed provided they do not act as structural components or otherwise compromise safety. Materials purchased at salvaged yards cost 10-50 percent of the cost of new materials.
Select materials with a high potential for reuse and recycling.
Choose non-toxic materials with recycled content. "Green" materials have a lower embodied energy content, are more environmentally friendly in the production process, and are easier to dispose of in sustainable ways. By making a serious attempt to use materials that are less toxic or easily recyclable, you minimize the chance that landfill disposal will be the only option and avoid hazardous waste disposal procedures.
Find salvage and reuse material resources on the C&D Resources page.
One of the surest ways to save money and minimize waste is to order the correct amount of materials to complete the project. An easy tool to assist in this is a “materials calculator”. These online tools will quickly calculate everything from sheetrock and drywall screws to flooring, tiles, carpeting, paint, framing lumber, roofing and other building materials. Simply input your project dimensions into it and you will know how much materials your project will require. There are a number of material calculators available online.
Waste Reduction Plan
Waste reductions plans are typically used for larger projects, but considering the elements of the plan will be beneficial regardless of the project size.
To be the most effective, keep your plan simple and specify the methods to separate, store, and collect materials. Make it as convenient as disposal, and protect materials from the elements and other damage. The main thing is to have it in writing, so the expectations are clear.
If you are working with contractors and subcontractors, it is important to specify waste management and prevention goals in contracts and agreements. This assures that the expectations and procedures are communicated clearly to everyone. The following is an example specification in a subcontractor agreement:
"The subcontractor will make a good faith effort to reduce the amount of waste generated on the jobsite and recycle material as per the contractor's Waste Reduction Plan. The subcontractor will follow the designated handling procedures for each type of waste generated onsite and provide documentation to verify material reuse, recycling, and disposal as indicated in the Waste Reduction Plan."