How Can Cities Tackle Menace Of Construction Waste
Velprakash K, National Director – Industrial & Life Sciences Sector, Project & Development Services, JLL India gives an insight on On How Can Cities Tackle Menace Of Construction Waste. Indian cities facing pollution from all corners have a new challenge. They are not adequately equipped to handle the waste produced by its construction industry. Estimates suggest that the industry, both organised and unorganised, collectively produces 12-14.7 million tonnes of solid waste every year. Out of this, seven to eight million tonnes comprises of concrete and brick waste. To add to the problems, waste produced during the demolition of old buildings and general infrastructure adds to the quantum of problems. India’s top cities account for most of the waste produced. While a majority of this includes soil, sand, gravel and waste produced from bricks and masonry, some amount of waste also comes in the form of metals, woods and other associated materials.
What happens on construction sites?
If the life cycle of the material on site, from its transportation and delivery to the end fate, is closely examined, it is seen that there is a relatively a large portion of the materials being wasted because of poor material control on building sites.
What does it mean to manage wastes?
Whilst the implementation of environmental management in construction has a direct contribution to environmental protection, it involves allocating a variety of resources for practicing various environmental management methods such as noise control, treatment of polluted water, waste recycling and reusing, and so on. The need for effective construction waste management is growing in importance due to the increasing levels of the construction waste pile up. And this increase has an adverse impact on the environment. The increasing awareness of environmental impacts from construction wastes has led to the development of waste management as an important function of construction project management. The regular approach would be to focus on waste classification, waste management strategies and waste disposal technologies. However, there is more required when it comes to managing the construction and demolition waste. Waste coming from the construction industry relates to every part of our society. It permeates most of the economic sectors as it transforms various resources into the constructed infrastructure necessary for socio-economic development. However, despite its relevance for society, it is acknowledged that construction activities impact the natural environment. Hence it is imperative we focus on a workable strategy. And the strategy should include steps right from the planning to delivery and post-delivery stage of the project.
What should be done – do you have a plan?
During the planning of a construction project, it is important to understand what excess materials are likely to be generated. The focus then can be on how the generation of those excess materials can either be avoided or the material can be diverted to the landfill. This can also be done through a construction waste management plan. It is worth mentioning that the key objectives of any construction waste management plan should be to minimise the amount of waste generated as part of the project, maximize the amount of material which is sent for reuse, recycling or reprocessing and minimise the amount of material sent to landfill.
What should the plan look like?
When developing and implementing a construction waste management plan, the following should be considered: Waste streams: It is important to identify which waste streams are likely to be generated. Basis this knowledge, an estimate should be done on the approximate amounts of material. Focus on waste avoidance: Instead of managing the waste once it has been generated, it is logical to look at ways to avoid the generation of that waste in the first place.
Selecting the contractor: Select an appropriately qualified waste management contractor who provides services for the waste streams generated and data on waste/recycling generation. On-site management: Understand how the waste management system will work on-site, including the bin placement and access. Clearly assign and communicate responsibilities: Ensure that those involved in the construction are aware of their responsibilities in relation to the construction waste management plan. Engage and educate personnel: Upskilling the workforce engage should be a priority. Ensure personnel involved are well trained in waste management and also have an opportunity to provide feedback on what is/isn’t working. Monitor: to ensure the plan is being implemented and monitored on-site. Evaluate: Once the project is complete, evaluate your estimates in the plan against the actual data for waste generated and consider feedback from personnel. Integration: The integration of Waste management to EHS as a process would enhance the focus and encourage construction companies to include Waste management in all projects. Once the root causes of waste generation are notified, it can either be avoided or minimised to benefit the world for a better future. By identifying the significant factors in the construction process, construction organisations can notice and implement the best ways to apply new practice for reducing material waste, time delay and cost overrun in any project. Integrate the comprehensive Waste management plan capturing all above aspects into Environment Health Safety plan as a process to enhance the focus and encourage construction organisations to implement Waste management plan in all projects.
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