It is inevitable that there will be waste on a construction or demolition site. For many, the first instinct when faced with a lot of material waste is to simply make a few trips to the tip and dump it all. But slow down before you do this – did you know there is a steep landfill levy on construction and demolition waste? Did you know you could get paid for scrap metal pickup? These are just some facts we are sharing in this post about recycling construction and demolition waste.
Before you think about recycling construction and/or demolition waste, you need to ensure you take the relevant safety precautions to protect yourself and those on the site. It is very possible that the site contains hazardous chemicals that need to be removed safely. Some hazardous chemicals and materials commonly found onsite include:
- Lead-containing paints
- Synthetic Mineral Fibre (SMF)
Instead of removing these substances yourself, you should be contacting a risk management business that can safely handle these chemical risks. Those who are not licensed to remove these substances should steer clear of the site until they have been removed.
#1: Salvage as much as possible
Begin by salvaging as many materials as you can from the demolition or construction site. Ensure you and your team are aware of what can actually be recycled, too. Some recyclable materials commonly found on construction and demolition sites include:
- Asphalt and bitumen
- Untreated timber
- Uncontaminated plasterboard
- Wood pallets
- Plastic pallets (can be reused)
#2: Confirm with your council
According to Sustainability Victoria, “The way construction waste is recycled depends on the materials within each item”. Therefore, after you have set aside a collection of waste that you believe can be recycled, the next step is to contact your local council to confirm that it is actually recyclable.
In terms of waste that cannot be recycled, different councils have different regulations for waste management. For instance, your local council may have an annual hard rubbish collection service in your area. If not, they may offer a booking service where you can organise to have the rubbish picked up. After a rubbish pickup, the council sorts through the waste to reassesses whether anything can be recycled.
In any case, try to minimise the amount of rubbish you contribute to landfill – not just for environmental reasons, but also to avoid any steep levies that could come your way.
Some non-profit organisations will accept waste if it is still in good condition. Always scour the site to remove things that may be of use to other people. These are some items you should consider donating:
- Mobile phones
- Any old technology, such as computers
#4: Get a site assessment/remediation
As we mentioned above, booking a site assessment before removing debris and waste is essential to keeping everyone onsite safe from hazardous chemicals. However, the same must also be done after the debris and waste have been cleared away.
You may be wondering why this is the case. Well, after a construction or demolition project, it is likely that toxic or harmful materials have contaminated the soil, air or surrounding water. A site assessment helps to identify these environmental issues, while a remediation is a treatment that aims to restore the natural surrounds. It is important to consider the lasting effects the construction or demolition will have on the environment, and behave proactively.
#5: Scrap metal pickup
One of the best (and most mutually beneficial) ways to recycle metal is to employ a scrap metal pickup service. These services pay you to pick up the metal. Not only are you recycling – you’re being financially rewarded for it.
Before you choose a scrap metal pickup service, you should know the difference between ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Some buyers will only pay for non-ferrous, while others will be open to buying both.
Ferrous metals are more common and thus have a lower value. Some examples of ferrous metals are:
- Wrought iron
- Stainless steel
- Cast iron
Non-ferrous metals are harder to come by and buyers tend to pay more for them. Some examples of non-ferrous metals are:
Get paid for your scrap metal
Metal Men Recycling are your go-to professionals for scrap metal pickup. We collect both ferrous and non-ferrous metals at your convenience – and we even pay you for it! Get paid by cheque or EFTPOS for being environmentally friendly and recycling metals on your site. Aside from scrap metal pickup, we offer a range of other services:
- Factory and farm clean outs
- Free bins for your scrap metal
- Door trade service
Contact us today to find out more about our 24-hour scrap metal pickup, or simply call 03 5941 6677.