Hazardous and Solid Waste

Tips for a Successful Recycling Program for Jobsite Waste

Here are some things you can do to ensure recycling program success:

  • Include  waste-handling requirements in all project documents. Encourage suggestions from the crew on improving efficiency or including additional materials.
  • Consider designating a crew member who has an interest in recycling as the jobsite recycling coordinator.
  • Check in with them regularly to assist with troubleshooting and adopting new strategies. Form a waste management team for larger projects.
  • Allow time for a learning curve. As always, learning new procedures takes time. Initial savings garnered through recycling efforts may not seem like they compensate for extra time spent, but over time recycling strategies have been proven to pay off.
  • To reduce on-site waste, coordination among the workers and subcontractors is critical. Discuss your recycling program at safety meetings and other regular meetings.

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  • Work with subcontractors to develop improved  material-handling methods. Efficient material use can be encouraged by ordering quantities and timing deliveries that coordinate accurately with project tasks. Purchasing in excess can increase the possibility of damaged and stolen materials and encourage inefficient use. Just-in-time purchasing and improved storage and handling can prevent damage or theft.
  • Waste reduction can be accomplished through contract structure. By making it part of the bidding process, subcontractors can be required to dispose of their own waste or be required to use on-site recycling bins.
  • A defined  cleanup policy can designate storage areas and limit the length of time waste remains on site. When planned carefully, this can lessen the likelihood of drive-by contamination (the dumping of waste by unauthorized persons) and significantly improve the site appearance.
  • Ask suppliers to take back or buy back substandard or unused items. Request that suppliers deliver items on returnable pallets or reusable containers.

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Tips for recycling bin use:

  • Allocate adequate space for separation of recyclables. If space is limited, identify two or three materials that will be targeted, and obtain small bins for just these.
  • Post signs that clearly designate recycling containers with lists of what is recyclable.
  • Check bins regularly for  nonrecyclable items.
  • Check trash bins to see if recyclables are being discarded.
  • Follow up with the crew and subcontractors on an ongoing basis.

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