Reducing Waste During Renovation

Home remodelling or renovation is one of the biggest sources of waste in Australia. According to the Australian National Waste Report 2016, the per capita average for construction and demolition (C&D) waste amounts to 831kg annually. This can be compared to 849kg per person for other commercial and industrial (C&I) waste, and just 565kg per capita for municipal waste. In other words, C&D waste accounts for around 31% – nearly one third – of all waste produced by Australians.

In total, Australia produced about 64 megatons of waste, which was comprised of nearly 20 megatons of C&D waste during 2014-2015. This has increased since the 2006-2007 period when the figure for C&D was just 15 megatons. That means an average of 724 to 831 kg per capita. The amounts of C&D waste varies by state or territory, and also comprises of different kinds of waste – e.g. masonry materials are one of the largest waste streams, albeit a lot of it can be recycled.

How to Minimise C&D Waste

It is apparent that waste from the construction and demolition process produces a huge amount of waste. So, what can be done to reduce waste during a home renovation? The general rule, as with all waste minimisation, follows the principle of the ‘three Rs’: reduce, reuse, recycle.

This means a waste management system that attempts to lower the volume of waste ending up in landfill, reducing a demand for new materials in the reconstruction process, and ultimately conserving materials for use by future generations.

There are several tips you can follow as a homeowner to minimise C&D waste following the ‘three Rs’ principle. These are largely focused on these 3 key areas:

  • Considering how and why waste is created as a result of a home renovation project.
  • Understanding the planning process that is required to create a project design that is centred on waste reduction.
  • Promoting the reuse of building materials and recycling building waste, wherever possible, before then reducing total waste.

Waste Reduction Management Plan: A Step-by-step Process

Apart from these above general guidelines to consider, here is our recommended 6-step plan to reduce waste during your home remodelling project:

  1. Firstly, create a waste management plan. You should plan your project so that waste reduction measures are in operation as soon as you commence your renovation project, and also how this will work for all stages from demolition to construction.
  2. Select building materials and products that will immediately reduce overall waste of your project. For example, instead of buying new, you could seek salvaged or second-hand building materials (and this could save you money too). Another technique is to choose products that are already standardised to your house dimensions, which will significantly reduce the amount of off-cuts wastage. You can also choose materials that have a high amount of recycled content, or those materials which will easily be recycled after their lifetime use ends.
  3. When ordering building materials and products, plan it efficiently so that they arrive ‘just-in-time’ for application. This will reduce the storage time before renovation and therefore any potential to get damaged and then need reordering. Your ‘just-in-time’ ordering system will limit any duplicate materials being ordered by mistake, too. You should also create accurate cutting lists that will avoid over-ordering, since having more product than necessary can promote inefficient use, which should be avoided at all costs.
  4. Before ordering materials and products, contact suppliers about their latest recommendations on methods for installation and uses that will reduce the potential for off-cuts, mistakes and damage. All of these are wasteful practices, so it is important to build into your project design a waste management plan that ensures efficient use and minimises unnecessary waste.
  5. Waste will be inevitable during a construction and demolition project, but in order to be most environmentally-friendly you should keep waste materials for recycling and reuse separately to those designated for landfill. One way to do this is to store them in different skips, and then use clear signage so that everyone onsite knows exactly where to place the different kinds of waste. At Allmetro Bins, we also provide a mixed waste removal service that means you can use the same skip for different kinds of waste. So long as the skip is loaded properly, we are then able to collect it and separate the waste at our sorting yard in Perth.
  6. Another effective practical solution for reducing waste on your construction site is to set up a single waste storage area. This will discourage anyone working on the project to simply use the nearest bin or skip located to them. If there is a single storage area with clearly marked skips then it will severely reduce the potential for different waste types being mixed up and then make it harder to recycle. Depending on the size of your project, you may choose to have separate skips for different kinds of waste, or just have one skip with clear instructions on loading mixed waste and then we’ll separate it later in our sorting yard.

Sorting and Managing Your Waste for Disposal

We offer the leading service for skip bin hire in Perth. You can hire a single skip from us and load it with different kinds of waste, which we will then collect and separate at our sorting yard. We ask that you load your skip in the following way:

From the bottom upwards, place waste in the skip as follows:

1) Sand/brick/concrete on the bottom layer,

2) Then household waste

3) Then green waste on the top layer

This will ensure that your waste can be disposed of in the most environmentally-friendly way, being recycled whenever possible. We can also provide multiple skips if that is easier for you, but due to space constraints, many customers choose the option of just using one skip and then loading it effectively for sorting later. We provide skip bin hire throughout Perth metropolitan area, including Joondalup, Ellenbrook and the Swan Valley. So contact us today on (08) 9201 1118 to book a bin for your home renovation project.