How to Reduce Waste on Building Sites in 5 Simple Steps?

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A huge challenge and a problem that faces the construction industry on a daily basis and that is the large volume of waste that is accumulated. With many companies lacking in both the motivation, but also the knowledge of how to responsibly reduce waste on building sites, by making a small change, it can help them to be not just efficient, but profitable with the available resources.

To highlight this issue and to put the large scale of waste accumulation on building sites into perspective, in 2017 the construction industry produced a whopping 20.4 million tonnes of waste that was unnecessary sent to landfills. By taking the time to review the amount of waste that is created in building sites and putting an effective disposal service in place, construction companies could see the benefit, while working to improve their profit margins.

For companies planning on taking their first steps and beginning to reduce the amount of waste created and disposed of, we have put together 5 simple steps on how to tackle this challenge. From helping to reduce waste production, leading to decreased costs in waste movements and landfill tax, there really is no excuse to delay construction waste management.

Plan Ahead

A simple and reliable step to reduce waste on building sites, planning ahead can help to reduce the number of construction mistakes being made. By planning ahead and taking the time to order the correct materials, the business can ensure that anything purchased is to the correct length. This will ensure that less waste will make its way to the landfill when the job has been finished, while also guaranteeing that there will be enough time for delivery and handling, and materials can even be checked and recycled, saving the cost of buying more.

construction worker planning building site

Having a useful construction waste management will allow companies to save money while cutting down their waste production. As well as this, having regular inventory checks can avoid the purchasing of any extra material that will most likely go to waste.

Create a waste segregation method

At the end of every project, there are bound to be leftover waste that will need to be correctly disposed of. By putting into place a professional waste plan, you can create an efficient and secure wasting process. This method is important for having effective waste cost management and therefore can increase company productivity.

different coloured waste bins

By simply introducing either colored or labeled bins that allows employees to separate each type of waste, builders will be able to recycle accordingly. This will stop all waste being conformed into one pile when a huge amount of it could be recycled and reused separately.

To really cement this idea into the working process and to reduce waste on building sites, offer staff incentives or prizes at the end of each month or quarter. By awarding those who have fully complied with the new recycling rules, this can highlight the importance of correctly recycling and disposing waste within the construction industry.

Maximize The Use Of Waste

There are many architects or artists around the world that make fantastic creations out of leftover materials that others would view, simply as waste, yet with a little bit of thought, you can reuse and repurpose leftover materials.

When working on smaller projects, consider using recycled materials. By doing this, you can see a reduction in costs, as recycled materials are priced at a lower unit rate than other resources that do the exact same job.

Secondly, when it comes to recycling and disposing of leftover materials, as a company you could decide whether the materials should be reused, sold or recycled. Some materials such as concrete or timber require a specific recycling process, as well as being slightly harder to sell on. However, resources such as metals and timber can either be sold or recycled.

how to reduce waste in construction site

Even the smallest piece of scrap metal can be recycled and purchased, helping to scrape back some revenue and add to the profit pot.

Avoiding Demolition

half built building site

When working on a site or a rebuild, many construction companies may take the slightly easier and time friendly process of demolition, helping to rapidly clear the building site before work can commence.

Instead, why not opt for the process of a ‘soft teardown’. A soft teardown will give the constructors the chance to slowly take down each layer of the building, allowing builders to discover which materials can be salvaged or reused.

Perfectly good materials such as tiles, plumbing fixtures, and even windows, have no reason to be crushed within a demolition, and if removed properly can be reused again. Helping to reduce the number of materials unnecessarily wasted. Soft deconstruction can save money on costs, if the resources are used again, or they can be sold on further to generate some revenue alongside the new project build.

Partnering With The Right Suppliers

It is recommended that as a business, partnering with a supplier that is flexible and has the same waste morals as you, will help make reducing material waste in construction an easier goal to reach.

The right company should work to drive the waste management strategy by offering a handful of resource choices while using reliable service and maintenance software. These usually are:

  • Submitting completed audited reports on all waste produced, while checking all data is fully up-to-date in order to have completely relevant waste forecasts.
  • Allow the construction company to send back any unused resources with all packaging in order to reduce waste and save more money.
  • Allow the company to receive deliveries when required. Whether that be staggered or even weekly, this will reduce the need for on-site storage areas.
construction team planning

It has been shown that by using the right suppliers, construction companies can produce a more effective waste management strategy. This has lead to an incredible 95% waste diversion rate. By simply following our 5 recommended steps to help build a sustainable strategy, companies can enjoy higher profit margins, the better resource offers and becomes a household name. All while helping to tackle the growing waste epidemic and help care and nurture the surrounding environment.


As a whole, the waste produced by construction companies needs to be thought out and planned. Not only is construction waste taking up more and more landfill spaces, but it is also a growing problem that is cutting into the profit margins

By following the 5 simple steps suggested above, not only can the construction sector reduce waste on building sites, but they can also generate and make additional revenue. This will allow businesses to take on far greater projects while working hard to lower their carbon footprint and practice responsible construction practices.

Without taking the time to plan ahead and put an effective waste management system in place, problems can quickly arise. Simple to do, by thinking ahead, along with cutting the amount of material that is wasted, you can save money while running an efficient building site.

Our five top ideas are only the starting point, there are of course many more ideas out there, with the few above being rather simple but very effective methods on how to reduce waste on building sites.

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