Recycling of construction waste

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The continuous increase in the generation of construction waste combined with limited landfill capacity is a growing concern for planners, municipalities, governments, and environmental institutions. Although construction waste is comprised of materials that can be recycled or reused such as wood, metal, drywall, rubble, concrete, cardboard, plastics, etc., they are generally disposed of at landfills. The construction waste is usually heavy and bulky; and therefore it occupies more space, taking longer time to decompose. The load of waste that goes to landfills from construction sites can be reduced if proper construction waste minimization and best practices are applied on-site. This thesis discusses the implementation of a waste management strategy during the construction of a new building. It also presents a critical analysis on the importance of assessing the potential for construction waste minimization and recycling. The data obtained during the construction of a four-story research facility with a floor area of 6,420m2 was analyzed based on activities being performed according to the construction schedule. However, the data analysis was complicated due to the different sources of waste generation, parallel activities taking place on the construction site, and variables such as labour productivity, small project variations, rework, etc. The methodology used to identify and quantify the daily and weekly waste generation from different activities is discussed in detail. Then, a statistical analysis is carried out to generate a probabilistic model to predict the waste generation based on the construction activity schedule. The findings from this research show that a properly designed construction w aste management scheme can reduce the burden on landfills. A brief cost-benefit analysis shows that the constructors can achieve economical benefits by having a waste management plan on-site, while at the same time enhancing environmental protection through the reduction of solid waste disposal.
Bibliography: p. 184-191
Prado Verduga, B. F. (2004). Recycling of construction waste (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from doi:10.11575/PRISM/15053