Construction Wastes: Types, Causes and Recycling Strategies


The term “construction waste” refers to the relatively clean, heterogeneous building materials that are left over after finishing a project. Ecology is seriously endangered by construction trash. This has increased pressure on the construction industry to think about appropriate environmental protection strategies for all sectors of the economy, including building.

Depending on the circumstances and the kinds of materials employed, different projects will produce different amounts and types of construction waste.

Construction waste types and recycling techniques

  • Brick

Construction (Photo from istock)

Brick wastes are produced during demolition and may contain plaster and mortar contaminants. The leftovers are occasionally mixed with other materials, such as wood and concrete. Bricks are currently recycled by being crushed and used as filler.

  • Concrete

Concrete wastes may be produced as a result of evaluating concrete samples, tearing down old buildings, etc. This crushed concrete is frequently utilized as aggregate in recycling procedures for concrete waste.

In addition to being utilized in the building of road bases and trenches, the crushed concrete aggregate has been used to substitute natural aggregate in fresh concrete.

  • Ferrous Metal

Construction (Photo from istock)

Another sort of waste that is both very valuable and capable of being recycled almost entirely is ferrous metal. Ferrous metal can also be recycled numerous times.

  • Masonry

When masonry structures are demolished, masonry waste is created. By crushing the masonry waste, it can be recycled and used as recycled masonry aggregate.

Using recycled masonry aggregate to make thermally insulating concrete is a unique use. The use of recycled masonry aggregate as a filler in conventional clay bricks is an additional possible usage.

  • Non-ferrous Metal

Construction (Photo from istock)

Aluminum, copper, lead, and zinc are among the nonferrous materials that are dumped at building sites. Almost all of these materials can be recycled.

  • Paper and Cardboard

Another sort of waste, estimated to make about one-third of the volume of construction and demolition wastes, is paper and paper board. To create new paper goods, these waste components are recycled and reprocessed.

  • Plastic

If these items are gathered individually and cleaned, the plastic wastes can be recycled as effectively as feasible. If plastic trash is combined with other plastics or pollutants, recycling becomes challenging.

Plastic can be reused in goods including street furniture, roof and floor coverings, PVC window noise barriers, cable ducting, and panels that are made expressly to use recycled plastic.

  • Timber

Construction (Photo from istock)

Throughout the world, there is a significant amount of wood waste produced during construction and demolition projects. After cleaning, de-nailing, and sizing, whole timber from construction and demolition projects can be quickly and immediately utilized for reuse in other construction projects.

Sources of Construction Waste Generation

Construction waste may be produced from the following sources, which are listed below:

  • Design origin
  • Source for purchases
  • Source handling of materials
  • Action source
  • Remaining source
  • Extra sources
Problems with Construction Waste
  • Waste is a byproduct of industrial and human activity that has no further use.
  • Want for comprehensive control of construction trash at every location.
  • Every employee, from management to operational levels, should contribute to the management of construction waste.
Vitality of Recycling

Construction (Photo from istock)

  • Reduce the demand for new resources.
  • Low the cost and effort of transportation and production.
  • Utilize waste that otherwise would be dumped in landfills.
Recycling Obstacle
  • Lack of recycling facilities at the construction locations.
  • Lack of the necessary technology act as obstacle.
  • Absence of knowledge

Consideration for Recycling Construction Waste

Three key areas should be taken into account when choosing a recyclable material:

  • Economy
  • Relationship to other materials
  • Material characteristics

Here’s a list of Sustainable Building Materials for Eco-Friendly Construction.

  • Sustainable building materials are becoming more and more popular as environmental preservation becomes a top issue for more people.

As they look for methods to improve their procedures, architects, builders, and homeowners can reduce their environmental effect by using sustainable building materials. These buildings that are waste and resource-efficient can be made out of anything from clay to recycled wood.

  • Bamboo

Construction (Photo from istock)

Bamboo is a sturdy, long-lasting, and significantly lighter alternative to traditional wood than hardwood. As a result of its inherent resilience to moisture, heat, and pest pressure, bamboo is frequently utilized as a building material in tropical climes. It is the best material for sound insulation in highly inhabited homes because it is also a great sound barrier.

  • Hempcrete

Hempcrete is created by combining hemp shives, the hemp plant’s inner, woody core, with a binder based on lime. This organic substance is perfect for environmentally friendly building because it may take the place of elements like concrete, wood, and insulation. The building’s usage of Hempcrete enables resource conservation and lessens the impact of construction on the environment.

  • Cork

Construction (Photo from istock)

Cork is a superb insulator in addition to being fireproof, waterproof, and mold-resistant. It doesn’t produce any damaging air pollutants and emits less CO2 than other materials. It offers outstanding acoustic insulation and is a fantastic choice for soundproofing purposes. Due to its strength, light weight, and ease of molding, cork is an excellent material for many applications.

Furniture, walls, floors, and other decorative elements are typically made of cork. Cork flooring is comfortable and has a unique, lovely, and magnificent appearance. Cork is an excellent wall covering since it not only gives each room a unique decorative aspect, but also helps to regulate the temperature inside and absorb extra moisture.

  • Straw Bales

Because of its inherent insulating qualities, straw bales are a sustainable building material from an environmental point of view. With an R-value comparable to cellular insulation, straw bales may significantly save energy expenditures and insulate homes. Additionally, straw bales are made entirely of natural materials, resulting in a cost-effective and environmentally beneficial living place.

  • Recycled Plastic

Construction (Photo from istock)

Recycled plastic is becoming increasingly popular as a sustainable building material. This recycled plastic is a sustainable option since it lessens plastic pollution and preserves natural resources. It is also a reasonably priced, adaptable material that has many potential applications.

A building project can employ recycled plastic for a variety of components, including window frames, decking, and outdoor furniture in addition to siding, roofing, and insulation. It is a robust and long-lasting substance that withstands extreme weather, UV exposure, mold, rot, and water. Recycled plastic building materials also endure a very long time; some estimation put it at up to 50 years. The utilization of recycled plastic materials also has a number of positive environmental effects.


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