Construction Waste And Landfill Construction Essay

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This report discusses the building waste in Australia and there are 80 percent of building waste can be recycled. Waste management is actually quite an ordinary subject that it involves collecting materials that others simply throw away as trash and sorting it into either stuff that has no further use or those that can be recycled. They then have to be transported to locations that can dispose of them safely and appropriately. The essential aspect to well organize waste management is planned in such way that it has no adverse effect or inconvenient to others and surroundings. This report will focus on framework of waste management, problems of waste management occur in Australia and the solution of waste control. The information gathered for this report has been sourced from web sites, newsletters and other scholarly books.

The largest single source of landfill waste in Western Australia is materials and soils from construction and demolition building sites (Waste 2020, 2001). According to Department of Environment and Heritage DEH (2020), the average waste disposal to landfill was 1.9 tons per person in Western Australia and 45 percent of waste was from construction activities. In order to decrease the amount of waste disposal to landfill, awareness of this issue needs to be emphasized in the construction industry. To reduce the total waste stream, the volume of construction and demolition waste generated or disposed should be reduced. Increasing industry awareness of waste minimization and the development and implementation of efficient and effective waste management strategies into organizations is paramount to achieving waste reduction (Waste 2020, 2001).

The construction and demolition process creates many types of waste. The ability to identify the sources of waste is critical to the success of any future plan to manage waste (Waste 2020. 2001). Department of Environment and Heritage DEH (2020) categorize construction and demolition waste into five groups, there are:

Many factors contribute to construction waste generation at site. Waste may occur due to one or a combination of many causes. The most commonly recognized sources of construction waste are design, operational, material handling and procurement (Gavilan & Bernold, 1994; Ekanayake & Ofori, 2000). Ekanayake & Ofori’s (2000) indicated that a substantial amount of construction waste on site is directly related to design errors. For example, designer is poor knowledge of standard size materials or inexperience to evaluate construction sequence and method are the main causes of rework and redo, because components do not fit into places. Other causes to waste on site are based on human behaviors. Pressures to complete work quickly can make workers to cut components by using new materials rather than using previously cut pieces. Improper preparation and handling, misuse, and incorrect processing are the major causes of material wastage on construction sites (Ekanayake & Ofori, 2000). Moreover, damage due to subsequent works, error by tradespersons, loss or over-ordering and material wasted through damage when delivered.

Waste minimization is monitoring and managing the different waste streams on a construction site. Waste minimization is essential and need to be careful planning throughout the design, build and occupancy phases, to ensure its success, effectiveness and compliance with building regulations. The simplest way to minimize the waste are 3R, there are reuse, reduce and recycle. To prevent materials waste, the best method of managing it is through reuse either on the existing site, or a nearby site and many materials can be usefully reclaimed, even sold to offset the costs of a building project (Waste 2020, 2001). Recycling materials is the final option for managing waste. Materials that can be reused or recycled need to be identified early on the build process, and segregated for easy storage, collection and transfer. For the strategy to be effective, links also need to be established with local recycling and reuse facilities and contractors (Ekanayake & Ofori, 2000). Bahu, Barry & John (1997) provided a general guide for waste minimization:

The waste streams vary according to the phase of construction, the method and the type of building (Bahu, Barry & John, 1997). For example, during roofing there might be insulation and roof tile waste. During plastering, painting and finishing, a lot of rubble is produced. A whole range of waste materials are produced throughout the build project including: concrete, dirt, drywall, insulation, tiles, carpet, vinyl flooring, cardboard, bricks, paint, metals, wood, and window glass. Most waste is produced on site through over ordering, or damage by mishandling, inadequate storage or the weather, but unnecessary packaging of construction materials also produces an excessive amount of waste in the form of plastic and cardboard (Bahu, Barry & John, 1997).

Compared to the USA and most European countries, construction and demolition materials recovery in Australia is still a fledgling industry for many reasons (Bahu, Barry & John, 1997). Moreover, the construction industry’s culture and it’s resistance to change have also been identified as barriers to achieve effective waste management (Waste 2020, 2001). In the construction site, labor is much more expensive than the building material cost. Therefore, contractors tend to allow a considerable amount of material loss or wastage on site rather than put more human resources in managing the materials or educating the workers to minimize waste and loss (Poon, et al, 2004). Some people argue that on site sorting is too expensive, and most material does not contributes a significant cost saving when compared to the labor spent on sorting and it has found that steel and metal were the only waste material worth recycling after comparing separation costs with premium paid for the material by the recycler (Poon, et al, 2004).

A builder and designer should evaluate and develop a best way to prevent waste. Paying attention to waste management in building’s design is essential and can lead to less waste on the site. When remodeling, evaluate if salvaging used lumber is possible, optimize building dimensions to correspond to standard lumber dimensions, modify framing details to optimize lumber use and reduce waste and costs when ordering, develop framing layouts to avoid waste and costs when ordering lumber, minimize the number of blueprints and reproductions necessary during the design and construction and the last but not least, ordering drywall in optimal dimensions to minimize cut off waste (Bahu, Barry & John, 1997). Drywall is available in different lengths, and designed dimensions should correspond to standard sizes.

The construction industry has also become increasingly aware of the importance of waste minimization with materials wasted being minimized from design and construction process. Construction companies should sell their waste to recyclers or purchases recycled material from recycling companies. But nowadays, more and more recyclers even provide bins on site to store construction waste and collect them within a certain period. This way, no extra charges are passed on to contractors from additional bin or transportation costs. Construction companies should pay more attention on the waste minimization.

Construction waste contributes a large portion to the waste stream destined for our nation's landfills (Waste Management, 2009). Construction industry and construction phase generate a large amount of construction waste. The problem has been recognized by the society since long time ago. However, not much improvement to the problem has been made. In facts, there is not enough government incentives and encouragement available to push the use of material waste management system.