When contractors need to move mounds of waste during a demolition project, it is easy to say waste management is top of mind. But a significant amount of waste — about 54 million tons according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — is generated in new construction and renovations. When waste management isn’t a priority, these materials are often sent to the landfill. Some might consider this the easiest route, but it’s also the most expensive and environmentally detrimental.
In any type of process, you can’t manage what you don’t measure. When contractors don’t track and measure how they dispose of waste, they simply don’t know how much material is landfilled, reused or recycled.
Waste-management and tracking software streamlines the measurement and management process. It offers a dedicated means of entering waste-ticket information consistently. That information is then stored and available for contractors to generate financial and environmental reports on individual projects or across all projects. Here are three major ways waste tracking can benefit your business.
If contractors are optimizing their resources to effectively recycle and divert more materials from the landfill, they will have lower disposal costs. On large projects that produce 300 tons or more of waste, WasteCap Resource Solutions has used its WasteCap TRACE software to save contractors an average of $40 per ton of waste diverted from the landfill.
Become a Compliance Leader
Waste-management and tracking software takes care of the entire recycling tracking and documentation process for construction and demolition projects. Any contractor working on a State of Wisconsin-owned project with a budget of $5 million or more is required to track its construction and demolition recycling performance. It also is required to meet a landfill diversion goal of 50 percent. Contractors need to meet similar requirements for projects seeking LEED certification or if owners have landfill-diversion goals. Reporting is needed to verify this was actually done.
WasteCap TRACE can take compliance and sustainability leadership to a new level by offering environmental impact. WasteCap TRACE uses EPA Waste Reduction Model metrics to convert data, such as pounds of concrete recycled, into impact equivalents, such as avoided greenhouse-gas emissions. This type of reporting is beneficial to project owners, but when all project data are combined, allows contractors to demonstrate their own environmental stewardship.
When contractors can operate at a lower cost, they can pass the savings onto clients with a lower bid. A lower bid, a streamlined documentation and reporting process, and the ability to quantify environmental successes will give contractors am edge. Or, when you’re being considered for a project with specific requirements, it is easy to pull data from a similar project to prove past performance.
Companies and domestic markets have an opportunity to reinvent the way materials are created, distributed, and repurposed. Using waste-management and tracking software is the first step to help the construction industry save money while transforming our linear economy into a circular economy.