According to the data provided by RECYC-QUEBEC, Quebec generates 13 million tons of waste each year. Of these, more than a third comes from the construction, renovation and demolition (CRD) sectors.
There is a 3RV-E hierarchy that has been put in place so that some methods are preferred. Thus, it is preferable to follow this order: reduce, reuse, recycle, enhance and eliminate. Waste disposal is not the preferred solution and, in addition, a landfill charge is imposed and increases every year to reduce this behavior. Several measures can be taken to avoid sending residual materials to landfills.
First, check whether it is possible to reduce directly on the job site. Effectively, good material management is paramount, because the material order must be made according to the actual need of the project. This will prevent you from having too much products. You can also consider the option to order in bulk so it eliminates any sort of packaging. It is not always easy on a construction site to use the whole materials supply at the same time, so remember to properly store it to prevent it from being damaged and unusable.
If you have extras, you could offer them to your customer for future projects. In some cases, the supplier may also take back products that have not been used. It is also a good idea to keep everything for your own future projects.
To reduce at the source directly, consider privileging a manufacturer designing materials with a long lifetime and manufacturing products from recycled materials.
Another effective method for good waste management is to reuse materials that are already in your possession and at your job site. To do this, it is preferable to opt for deconstruction rather than for demolition. In this way, what has been disassembled can be reused for another application or another project. A large number of materials will therefore find new utility and will avoid landfills.
In addition, it allows you to maintain a good condition of that product and it facilitates the task of sorting materials. It is also possible to resell certain products that are still in good condition. Reuse and deconstruction with the idea to reuse materials can give a good image to a company because it will be seen as being concerned with sustainable development. However, this process may be a little more expensive and time consuming than traditional demolition.
Recycling on a construction site is very good, but you have to sort it first. There are two types of sorting: the pell-mell shipment to the sorting center or the already-sorted on the job site shipment to the sorting center.
The pell-mell sorting process is faster because there is no sorting done on the job site and everything is deposited in the same container. It also requires less labor and space since only one container is required. On the other hand, sorting is much less efficient than when it is done at the source.
For its part, the sorting that is done directly on site makes it possible to sort in advance some materials. Several containers are therefore necessary since each type of material has its own container. This way further increases the percentage of material that will be recycled. You could also get a LEED® certification with this process.
Materials sent to the sorting center can be recycled and have a different purpose. For example, scrap of expanded polystyrene found in insulation may be recycled and the material may be reintegrated into new products without losing its properties. Most building materials can easily be recovered and avoid disposal in landfills.
Source : Guide des bonnes pratiques de gestion des matières résiduelles de construction, de rénovation et de démolition, produit par le Conseil régional de l’environnement et du développement durable de l’Outaouais (CREDDO).