Did you know that in Australia construction and demolition (C&D) waste accounts for around 42% of all the waste that ends up in landfill?
This is an alarming statistic, but it highlights that any efforts made to reduce, reuse and recycle construction materials can make a big impact. Thankfully, there are lots of ways to make better use of C&D waste.
1. Deconstruct before you demolish
Particularly when it comes to demolishing houses or office buildings, there may be the opportunity to pull out existing architecture, fixtures and fitting for use on other projects or resale. Setting in place a plan to carefully dismantle buildings may take more time, but it could save you money in the long term by reducing the need to buy new materials and cutting waste disposal costs.
2. Recognise and recover reusable materials
The list of waste construction materials and items that can be recycled or reused is endless, but here are a few to get you started: Wood, metal, fire grates, masonry, concrete, bricks, cardboard and paper, plastic, discarded fixtures and fittings like baths, sinks, tapwear and light fittings, as well as windows, old doors, roofing or tiles.
3. Buy second-hand building materials
Once you’ve recovered what you can from your own projects, look to buy used and recovered building materials before you source new. Second-hand materials are often locally sourced so this reduces the need for transportation, while also supporting the local economy.
4. Build to standard dimensions
Bigger isn’t always better. Sticking to standard build dimensions reduces the amount of materials, cutting and labour. Fewer materials used now means less waste in the future.
5. Be part of a collective that’s dedicated to a world without waste
Visit GreenHands online marketplace to list or source materials. By taking action and working together we can collectively decrease the amount of building waste that ends up in landfill and reduce the number of new materials that are mined.