Properly dealing with excess construction waste is essential for any operation in the UK. No matter how careful and meticulous you are on the job, you’re likely going to end up with a fair amount of rubbish at the end of it. However, although your leftover waste may not seem all that important, you are still legally responsible both for its storage and disposal; in not doing so, you might find yourself in pretty hot water. With this in mind, responsible waste disposal is essential both to keep your operation running smoothly and ensure on-site safety.
On many construction sites, a variety of materials can end up being surplus to requirement and if they are not competently stored and managed in a safe fashion, you could be putting yourself and others at serious risk. From leftover building materials to much more deadly substances found on-site such as asbestos, there are a variety of risks that present themselves through improper waste control. Therefore, if you don’t have a comprehensive waste management plan in place for your operation, it is imperative to remedy this immediately.
Luckily, there are a variety of experts who specialise in the waste management industry and are on hand to offer their services when needed, whether you’re in need of quality skip hire or specialist waste disposal. However, although these waste collection companies have the skills and necessary equipment to help with your waste management needs, it is still important to have some form of understanding of best practice when it comes to safely disposing of your waste.
The consequences of bad waste management
Working in construction can be a risky job. As one of the most dangerous industries in the UK with multiple fatal injuries occuring every single year, we should all be doing our bit towards making the construction sector a safer place to work. However, by not keeping on top of your waste management responsibilities, you could be making an already dangerous work environment that bit more unsafe. There are over 1000 documentations of slips and trips in the UK alone with a significant percentage of them being caused by untidy workspaces. However, trips aren’t the only risks a worker may face when on the job. Flammable materials that may have been left around a site can be a serious fire risk, and for those of us working in close proximity to hazardous substances, inadequate waste control could be a recipe for disaster.
Aside from the immediate dangers that poor waste management might cause, the damage to the environment can also end up affecting the general health of the area in which you live. Heavy metals from a variety of chemicals found on construction sites can seep into the soil and waterways causing untold damage to the surrounding population. With this in mind, it is your duty to keep on top of waste management whilst on the job.
What does the law say about construction waste removal?
In 2014, nearly 60% of all waste generated in the UK was created by the construction, demolition and excavation industry. With damning statistics like these, the government has stringent rules monitoring the storage and disposal of waste from these industries. Waste disposal is covered by the Environment Agency and local councils in a bid to reduce waste generation for environmental reasons and create a safer environment for workers. Not adhering to the legislation laid out by these governmental bodies can lead to hefty fines or even prison time so it is imperative that you follow them.
Classification of waste
When it comes to disposing of your waste, it can be helpful to understand how it is classified within the eyes of UK law. This can then help you to determine what services are needed for your waste management plan.
With waste classification, there are two categories that all excess rubbish falls into; hazardous and non-hazardous waste. As the construction industry works with a variety of different materials and substances, you are likely going to come across both categories of waste. It is imperative to both understand the difference and not to mix them up as this would be illegal.
Working with a construction waste removal company
Of course, one of the best decisions you can make when considering your waste management plan is to hire a waste disposal expert. Rather than trying to deal with excess rubbish yourself, utilising the skills and facilities that a quality waste management company will have on offer could save you from creating unnecessary site risks whilst saving you on both time and money.
For starters, one of the biggest issues with waste management on-site is storage. Without having a specific space for rubbish to be thrown out, waste can pile up which leads to a dangerous work environment. To counteract this, many waste management companies will have a range of skips to hire for your next job. It won’t matter whether you’re working on a small or larger scale job as skips can come in a variety of sizes from 6-yard models all the way to up huge roll on roll off (RoRo) skips, meaning you’ll never be without a skip for your waste. Hazardous waste removal can be an extremely tricky process at the best of times. If you’re not disposing of or storing it in the correct way, you could be putting yourself and others at risk. Dangerous materials such as asbestos need to be dealt with by trained professionals which is why it is imperative to work with a specialist for these kinds of jobs.
Aside from the safety benefits of using a waste disposal company, you could gain a variety of cost and time-saving benefits. Firstly, a skip hire business will drop off and pick up your skip when you’re finished, meaning all you have to do is fill it up rather than traipsing your waste to the dump yourself.
Tips on waste management from construction debris removal specialists
Although a waste removal company can help out a lot with your waste management needs, there are a few things you yourself can do both to help minimise the amount of waste you create and keep yourself safe whilst on the job:
- Work with ethical suppliers: work with suppliers that endeavour to minimise their waste through less packaging and the recycling of their products. Check to see if they offer a take-back scheme for their materials and packaging both to recycle and to keep your space tidy.
- Make the most of your waste: You may be surprised to hear that some of the ‘waste’ you’re accumulating has a range of uses. A variety of materials used in construction can either be reused or sold, so rather than simply throwing it away, consider its value first.
- Use reused: Wherever possible, try to work with reused products to help the circular economy.
Keep on top of your construction waste with Brewsters
Ensuring your construction waste is properly dealt with is essential to any building operation. With this in mind, your waste management plan should include a quality waste disposal expert to keep your operation running smoothly. Here at Brewsters, we have been supplying the people of London, Essex and the whole of the South East with expert waste disposal services since opening our doors in 1960. With our huge range of skips, from 6 to 16-yard options, we undoubtedly have the necessary means to ensure you’re creating a safe environment for both you and your employees.
However, our services don’t stop there, with our compactors, wheelie bins and food waste collection capabilities enabling us to help a variety of industries with their waste management needs. If you’re in the London, Essex or South East area and in need of quality waste management services, then look no further than Brewsters. For more information on our range of services, visit our website or get in touch with a member of our team on 020 7474 3535 to discuss your options.