Guide For Managing And Reducing The Commercial Buildings Waste
The commercial building construction and engineering project industry are major contributors to Australia's economic strength, urbanisation, scalable growth opportunities for other businesses, and hubs of thousands of job opportunities and resources.
Despite the aggregating economic growth factor, the Australian commercial building sector produces a devastating figure of hazardous, recyclable wastes every year.
Australia generated an estimated 22 million tonnes of commercial building waste from 74.1 million tonnes of total annihilation in 2018-19, as one of the highest waste producers in the world. The quantitative relation vividly shows the dread of renewable and sustainable resources dumped in landfills every day.
But the good news is local authorities, councils, and commercial business owners are striving to take constructive actions to reduce the construction waste, renew the most out of the waste materials with maximum resource conservation and sustainable disposal of the rest of the hazardous scraps and fragments.
This article will attempt to shed light on commercial building waste management and reduction applications you may find effective for your business.
Types of Waste Management Practises
There are many groups of waste management methods with different categories and purposes. In addition, there are several waste treatment methods applied explicitly to commercial building waste management. However, these are some of the standard commercial waste management approaches in Australia and other parts of the world:
Segregation and Recycle
Waste segregation refers to the effective process of urban waste sorting- an attempt to make the most value out of waste products that can be reused and recycled. Discarded items generated by commercial buildings or construction facilities require segregation, sourced for a specific new use.
After the step-by-step product inspection, segregation process managed by the industrial waste management program or local council, the recovered industrial waste items like glass, plastic, e-waste are sent to recycling companies.
Next, the non-recyclable and non-compostable waste items are sorted for other waste treatment systems to convert waste into usable energy like heat or fuel. Segregation often aims for waste reduction or minimisation by selecting only reusable building materials rather than disposable versions.
Modern, large and sophisticated landfills are key attributes to Australia's waste management system. Most of the non-degradable commercial, industrial and construction waste ends up in these landfills. There's a reason why landfills are one of the oldest and most practised waste treatment techniques worldwide, despite the emergence of more advanced, highly equipped waste management technologies.
Modern landfills are eco-friendly and excellent energy sources as they produce methane, carbon dioxide etc., from the waste. These gases are refined and used for energy generation. All in all, modern landfills are an affordable commercial waste disposal solution, utilising technologies like sensors to detect leachate content and landfill gas emissions.
But two of the many downsides of landfilling is this method takes up a lot of space and directly contributes to toxic gas emissions like methane and environmental pollution.
Waste incineration, also commonly known as thermal treatment or combustion, is one of the most progressive commercial waste treatment methods that largely incorporate waste-to-energy (WtE) technology.
Waste incineration converts gaseous hydrocarbon pollutants or non-recyclable municipal-solid waste generated by commercial establishments into water, ash, gas or heat at high temperatures and sufficient turbulence. Even though waste incineration is not a direct alternative to landfills, it essentially contributes to producing 20-30% of the commercial waste disposal in the landfill.
On top of that, waste incineration can effectively burn up to 90% of the total solid waste produced, reduce carbon emissions and generate a considerable amount of energy like heat and power by using steam turbines.
Plasma gasification is another waste-to-energy system that utilises highly ionised or electrically charged plasma forming gases. The technology is often confused with waste incineration or combustion processes. Unlike incineration, this thermochemical conversion process breaks down organic municipal waste or hazardous solid waste to their basic components. Convert it into synthesis gas or other useful, ecologically clean products, including syngas, metals, slag, residual heat and glassy rock.
The economy of plasma gasification facilities heavily favours reducing commercial waste landfilling, especially for commercial building and construction waste, as high levels of electricity can be generated from these non-biodegradable waste items.
Ways To Manage Waste in Commercial Buildings
Commercial building and construction industries have immense opportunities to boost waste material recovery and contribution to energy conversion. So having a solid commercial building waste management plan is imperative to any business. Here are some of the effective ways your business can associate waste reduction and resource conservation.
1.Form a Task Force:
Waste assessment and management plan formulation can be an eye-opening experience for construction and demolition site businesses. To start the process, you will have to assemble a team of people from different organisation departments, including one representative from the Finance, Health, Safety and Logistics teams. They can easily detect and assess wasteful practices, financial losses, safety concerns and areas of improvement.
2.Define Your Goals and Objectives:
Set an extensive building waste management plan based on the waste assessment data. Having clear, well-defined, measurable goals to keep commercial waste generation and reduction in check will help you establish a benchmark, expand the construction waste recycling program and track the hazardous and recyclable solid waste hauled from your commercial building construction site.
3.Track and Access the Waste:
With the team of volunteers, conduct a visual assessment on each of the waste contents in every construction site location and estimate the percentage of contamination initially by categorising the waste material type and amount. Once you sort out each waste in different categories, you can use diversion rate, a quick and easy way to measure the recyclable building waste items.
4.Evaluate the Result and Fine-Tune the Approach:
Once you have a clear picture of how much your business is producing waste, the first step should be finding ways to reduce the number of scraps. Start the process by redesigning or installing eco-friendly construction equipment, using recyclable, non-hazardous materials, and decreasing final waste disposal. Next, demonstrate different sustainability programs to the workers and associates to provide a deep-rooted understanding and clarification.
5.Promote Green Initiatives with Signs and Labels:
As a part of the effective waste management and reduction strategies, initiate green sights and labels to promote environmental standards, quality and characteristics for commercial sites. In addition, before implementing big-budget, wide-scale changes- green signs and signals can help to educate the employees and onsite workers about eco-friendly practices and waste recyclability.
Skip Bin Service- Promotes Green Business and Sustainability
Commercial building waste management is one of the primary concerns of most construction companies. However, commercial waste segregation and safe disposal is an extremely long and tiring procedure compared to household or domestic waste. In addition, many of the items can be reused, redistributed, recycled or converted into energy.
So, it's also worth mentioning that heavy construction and demolition waste materials are almost totally recyclable- which is an eco-friendly, cost-effective solution. And a professional skip bin service can help construction companies and other commercial businesses to promote the green industry with the most convenient and proactive waste management strategy with great safety measures by collecting and distributing the recyclables.
Many surveys and studies reviewed that customers are more interested in eco-friendly purchases and invest their money in businesses that support eco-friendliness and sustainability with detailed recycling and waste processing information.
Suppose you own a commercial building construction business. In that case, you can leverage all the benefits of a green business, including tax credits, incentives, healthier construction sites and workplaces, improved productivity, cost-efficiency and opportunities to work on high-end construction projects that resonate with your business ethics.
Here at Metropolitan Bin Hire service based in Melbourne, we provide a large range and sizes of skip bins to discard solid and hazardous commercial wastes like ceramics, bricks, cement, concrete, timber, metals, contaminated soils etc., in bulk. We aim to process or recycle more than 80 per cent of the waste collections with a licensed waste sorting facility, conserve resources and reduce the chance of building waste ending up in landfills.