The UK’s building and construction industry has been called on by a waste management expert to try and do more to recycle the amount of construction waste they create each year.
Founder of waste management service JunkHunters Harsha Rathnayake explained that at the moment most of the companies in the sector haven’t yet thought about using a waste management firm or taken steps to properly recycle their waste, Planning & Building Control Today reports.
The UK industry is responsible for over a third of the country’s rubbish and builders throw away over 120 million tonnes of construction waste each year… even though a large proportion of these materials could be recycled.
Mr Rathnayake was quoted by the news source as saying: “Businesses are slowly becoming more conscious of the waste materials they produce but this change isn’t happening quickly enough. In a sector like the building industry, where it is possible to recycle the bulk of materials, then there really should be no excuse.
“If materials can’t be reused, then we assess whether they can be recycled and we work closely with contractors across the UK to ensure materials reach the relevant processing and recycling centres.”
Because this industry uses so many different types of materials, and in big quantities, there are lots of opportunities for businesses to increase the amount they reuse and recycle. There are all sorts of benefits associated with recycling that your company could enjoy as well. For example, it can reduce disposal costs as well as driving down your carbon emissions, while ensuring that you comply fully with environmental legislation and guidelines on what can and can’t be sent to landfill.
Bricks and blocks
Interestingly, bricks have a lifespan of over 200 years and if you truly want to be green, you can reclaim or recycle those that have previously been used in construction. This includes clay bricks, stone blocks and concrete precast.
You can recycle old bricks and blocks to use in landscaping, to make aggregate, as plant substrate or to produce new bricks and blocks.
You can recycle this by crushing, air classification, optical sorting, screening to remove contamination and so on. Recovered glass can be used for decorative materials, abrasives, insulation, as a filtration medium, aggregates, containers and more.
You can reduce the amount of plastic waste you create and allow for more of it to be recycled by recovering materials and not sending as much to landfill, providing your workers with training in handling, separating your waste that’s made from different polymers to reduce contamination, and improving design so that you use fewer fittings, for example.
Recovered plastic can be used as a filler, as packaging, as landscaping, as bin liners or refuse sacks, and even as street furniture. The possibilities really are endless!
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