The Right Way to Dispose of Building Waste
Once your construction project is finished, it’s important to follow the appropriate steps for disposing of any building waste left behind. Assuming it's not a DIY project, this may sometimes be included in your building contract, while in other cases the responsibility will fall on you entirely. In any case, you should verify that you’re following all necessary steps to avoid any unpleasant fines or even worse consequences.
1. Take note of hazardous waste
Your top priority should be to identify hazardous waste. It should be sorted separately and disposed of in an appropriate manner. Materials like asbestos have specific disposal requirements that come with heavy potential penalties when they’re not followed.
Consult your building contractor to check what kinds of materials you’re dealing with. If you’re unsure about their appropriate disposal, your contractor is a good starting point for an initial consultation. If you need further assistance, consult your local council and give them a full list of the materials you intend to dispose of, as well as a rough estimate of the quantities involved.
2. Communicate with your building company in advance
Upfront communication with your contractor is crucial. According to Clara Annesley the construction writer at Proficiency, delays in post-construction cleanup most commonly arise when clients fail to communicate the exact details of additional needed work, leaving the company to handle all aspects of the planning and prioritization by itself.
If you have a plan of materials that need to be removed and corresponding cleanup procedures, take the time to sit down with your contractor and guide them through the points you’d like to prioritize.
3. Look into donation opportunities
Some of your materials might still be useful to someone. You may be able to donate them to another project instead of trying to sell them off. This will both reduce your efforts related to the disposal and will help someone else with their construction project.
However, if you have materials of significant value – and the patience to go through the market – it’s advisable to look into opportunities to sell them. You may sometimes be able to recoup a good deal of the money you initially invested into the project, depending on what is left over and the condition of those materials.
4. Ensure all your disposal is legal
This should go without saying, but you’d be surprised how many people ignore this point in an attempt to cut corners and minimize their expenses or time. While there are always opportunities to make things easier by just dumping everything in one place and calling it a day, this can lead to significant fines.
In some cases, it can also draw more serious penalties, depending on the kinds of materials you’ve disposed of and where exactly you’ve dumped them. When in doubt, always verify your plans with a professional, such as your building contractor. Check with your local council as well – they should be able to provide you with hints about the appropriate handling of those materials.
5. Do you need to hire your own skip?
Sometimes hiring your own skip is inevitable, especially for larger construction projects (where Ro-Ro hire may be more suitable). Don’t be quick to assume that this is your responsibility though. You may be able to work with your construction contractor and arrange to use one of their machines.
Sometimes that won’t be possible, usually in cases where the materials you need to dispose contain anything hazardous that may contaminate the skip. That’s why specialized removal companies use dedicated skips for their work and don’t share these vehicles for other tasks.
Following these points should be a good start into disposing of your building materials. There might be other specific details related to your situation. It’s important to familiarize yourself with your full scope of duties before commencing the removal project.