Demolition contractors have to handle a vast array of waste materials during a demolition procedure from concrete and metal, wood, plastics, glass, bricks and masonry to non-recyclable waste and even hazardous materials such as asbestos and lead-based paint or mould. With legal requirements on the demolition industry to recycle as much as possible, and it also being a criminal offence to dump certain waste products, knowing how to manage waste is vital. Demolition contractors need to be trained and knowledgeable about how to manage these different forms of waste to guarantee it is processed safely. They also need to know how to dispose of them and which materials can be recycled. The waste needs to be specially dealt with in the instance of land remediation, where the land is needing to be restored to a natural state. This blog will examine this area of waste management for demolition contractors and those in the industry of clearing sites ready for further development, refits, construction or even land remediation. Initial waste audit Before the demolition process can begin, the contractors will need to conduct a waste audit to determine what materials can be recycled, reused or need to be disposed of safely. The materials they will include in an audit are likely to be: Concrete: Large amounts of concrete on a site may need to be broken up and removed. This can then be recycled into new concrete or used as base materials for road construction. Metal: Many structures contain metal components such as pipes, beams and frames. These can be removed and recycled or sold to scrap metal dealers. Wood: Wood from buildings and structures can be reused or recycled into wood chips, mulch or fuel. Plastics: Some buildings may contain plastic materials such as pipes or insulation and these can also easily be removed and recycled. Glass: Glass from windows or mirrors can be recycled in a variety of manners if removed carefully. Bricks and masonry: These materials can be crushed and used as a filler material or can be used as a hardcore base for new construction – such as road building. Hazardous materials: Asbestos, lead-based paint and mould are all hazardous materials that require very careful handling. Some demolition contractors are trained in the correct procedures to use when handling and disposing of these hazardous materials, for the safety of everyone onsite. If the demolition contractor is not able to remove these hazardous materials themselves, then they will hire specialist contractors who can correctly manage this type of waste. Non-recyclable waste: Some waste is not recyclable such as general debris and rubble, soil, stones, adhesives and sealants, bituminous mixtures and more. A demolition contractor will need to arrange for this type of waste to be safely removed to landfills for disposal. Separation of materials Following the initial audit of the site and the waste materials that need to be dealt with, the demolition contractors in charge will begin by separating the identified material groups ready for proper disposal. Once separated, the materials can then be collected, sent on to recycling facilities or put aside ready to be reused onsite in the subsequent construction phase. Proper disposal After all the materials that can be recycled or reused have been sorted and removed from the site, the remaining non-recyclable waste will need to be sent to a landfill. However, contractors must ensure that they follow proper disposal regulations to avoid creating any environmental harm. Hazardous materials that are not properly managed can cause soil and water pollution, so having them properly disposed of is a legal requirement. An experienced professional demolition contractor will be able to assist with this process as they will be familiar with all the relevant legislation which needs to be adhered to. Asbestos is an extremely hazardous material that can be found in many aspects of a building if it was constructed before 1999 – when it became a banned substance. Capable of causing many terminal illnesses including several forms of cancer, asbestos is a carcinogenic substance and requires professional removal or management. If your project is to demolish the building and it contains asbestos in any form, you will need specialist contractors to remove and dispose of it correctly before demolition takes place. Enlist DES Holdings for your site clearance and demolition needs When you require a demolition contractor for your site clearance or demolition, you can rely on DES Holdings. With decades of experience in the industry and a long list of satisfied clients, they are the most professional and reliable service for all your demolition needs. Fully qualified and cognisant of all of the legislation and regulations surrounding construction and demolition waste, they can handle every detail of your project. Centrally located in the West Midlands, DES Holdings can support any demolition requirement throughout the UK. Get in touch or call us on 01527 521 457 to discuss your demolition or construction waste and how we can support your project.