Efficient Construction Waste Management Practices

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We thought we’d share some of our knowledge when it comes to efficient construction waste management practices done with an environmental focus.

Having a team dedicated to keeping a construction site clean and green is the key but more importantly, how can it be implemented? By training your crew on how to dispose of all the construction waste properly and also having a waste hauler who is focused on keeping as much out of the landfill as possible.

First, may we suggest having a recycling station for metal, cardboard, and plastic (ideal for packaging foam, coffee lids, hard packaging from tools, or finishing items). We have implemented these stations on construction sites and feel they have been incredibly successful on diverting waste from our local landfills.

In regards to other construction materials perhaps considered garbage, we have broken it down for you plus if you can find dedicated spaces for all these materials and label them, you are way ahead of the game!

Drywall: This has to be separated no matter what, so we suggested keep it in a separate pile. Drywall must be date-stamped showing 1987 or newer, or pre 1987 must be accompanied by a testing report from an approved facility such as A.C.M. Environmental in Vancouver or Kinetic OHS Services in North Vancouver that shows it to be free and clear of asbestos and other banned material. For the Sea to Sky Corridor this date is 1990.

If you do not have time to get it tested we'd be happy to provide this service for you for a fee of $100 plus the testing fee. All we would need is a sample that contains a section of tape and mud (as this is where the asbestos will be found if present) and be bagged in a zip-lock bag with the address and location in the house/building where it was taken from written on it e.g kitchen or bathroom.

To learn more about sustainable recycling of drywall read our blog post about it here.

Clean Wood: Any building wood that is free and clear of paint or any stain. Most transfer stations don’t allow plywood to go in a clean wood pile but Whistler and Squamish accept it in the clean wood load. If we find lengths of 4 feet or more that can be reused we donated them to local non for profits who will repurpose them.

Dirty Wood: As mentioned above, plywood and gluelam are sadly considered garbage at most transfer stations as well as painted or stained wood so keep these in your garbage pile unless you have a project in the Sea to Sky Corridor in which they will accept plywood and gluelam in the wood pile.

Stone: If you have broken up concrete without rebar or bricks, that can actually get recycled, so keep that in a separate pile.

Food Waste: Food waste can be composted, but please keep this secure in case you have any furry visitors on your site. Being bear and critter aware is important. With that said, our solution is to have plywood boxes made with a hinged top that has double locks on it. The bins should be sized to accommodate two standard Rubbermaid bins. To save on costs, bins made by crew might be the best option. We will be able to service these as needed but expecting it to be weekly or bi-weekly depending on the size.

These bins should solely be used for the organic waste created. Wrappers or packaging will NOT go in these bins, just organics to save space and make it so these bins can be recycled straight into organics at the landfill. We will provide your site with the compostable bin liners needed to make the disposal of these as cheap and efficient as possible. 

Carpet: Receiving requirements for carpet and underlay recycling must be dry and free of debris. Rolls need to be self-tied with carpet tail, string/twine or tape. Carpet and underlay should be cut in strips that are no more than 4’6” wide. No carpet from staircases, due to all the staples. Carpet and underlay must be free from staples and rolled separately. Underlay can be stacked on the same pallet as carpet. No small carpet scraps or trimmings, these go into the garbage pile. No rubber underlay. No construction debris (e.g. asbestos, sheetrock), tack strips, transition mouldings, and food scraps. We will be able to get this recycled for you so please contact us ahead of time so we can consult with you on this process.

Garbage: Keep a lot of garbage bins around your sites including clear garbage bags. Clear garbage bags also help to see what has been disposed of. We are always surprised to see so many sites without garbage bins! If you have labeled garbage bins on site your crews will know what they can dispose of in them.

Here is a list of construction waste that is considered waste:

Dirty paint brushes, anything with paint on it such as clear plastic or wood, insulation, damaged tarps, MDF, ceiling tile, coffee cups, hoses, dirty buckets, vapour barrier with any accoustic seal, tape or just plain dirty, less than 100 square feet of flooring or tile, drywall mud, used glue fillers, molding and trim that are lengths under 3 feet, particle board as well as demolition material.

If you feel overwhelmed or don’t have the time, we’d be happy to consult with you and your crew on an environmentally focused waste management strategy and get you set up. We will also clean you out once you are ready to remove the construction waste from your site. Plus our team hand separates all recyclables as well as any reusable items from actual garbage. We also live load our trucks so we can efficiently dispose materials to the correct locations such as the landfill, recycling centers, as well as any suitable local non-profit organizations. 

Sea to Sky Removal Shares Environmental Policy

We are committed to providing affordable, efficient, and environmentally conscious waste removal services that keep as much material out of the landfill as possible. To support this commitment, we will:

  • Continually improve our knowledge and education through the Recycling Council of British Columbia
  • Continually improve our knowledge and education through Built Green Canada
  • Share our knowledge, experience, and expertise with our staff, customers, investors, and other external stakeholders to improve waste disposal practices whenever possible
  • Effectively and accurately manage our environmental impacts by measuring what we divert from the landfill through our waste diversion reports where possible
  • Give back to our local community through the participation in eco-friendly initiatives and activities
  • Cultivate partnerships with other like-minded sustainability-centric businesses

We will work to support these commitments by:

  • Providing on-site recycling stations (including proper use training) for metal, cardboard, and plastic, to construction sites throughout the Lower Mainland as well as the Sea to Sky Corridor and well as companies that are environmentally focused and building green
  • Offering regularly scheduled live-load waste removal pick-up
  • Hand sorting all material to be disposed of into recyclables, items that can be reused, and general garbage
  • Delivering materials to landfills, recycling centers, as well as any suitable local non-profit organizations, in a timely and efficient manner
  • Providing post-disposal Green and Leeds Build Waste Diversion and Waste Diversion reporting
  • Sharing our knowledge, experience, and expertise with our staff, as well as customers, investors, and other external stakeholders through lectures, social media, and our website
  • Encouraging our staff to utilize eco-friendly modes of transportation to and from work (carpooling, public transit, and cycling)
  • Donating construction materials or any other reusable items to Squamish ReBuild, Whistler Re-Build-It Centre, and Habitat for Humanity: ReStore
  • Support advocacy groups directly affected by negative environmental change: Paws for Hope, WAGS, Wildlife Rescue of BC, and Critter Care
  • Offering Lunch and Learns on Sustainable Construction Waste Management Best Practices
  • Maintaining an eco-friendly office space (paperless invoicing, fluorescent light bulbs, green cleaning products, recycling office equipment/electronics/furniture/paper/metal/plastic bottles/tubs and glass bottles/jars)
  • Employing a fleet of Isuzu hybrid or energy efficient vehicles with 3 engine options that allow for both natural gas unfits (on smaller GAS units) as well as the capability to exceed diesel emission CARB regulations

Sea to Sky Removal Hauls Waste from Tenant Improvement Projects

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Are you in the midst of planning for a tenant improvement (TI) project or working on one as we speak? We can help! Our team has loads of experience with these type of projects and it always seems to be that they usually don't have room for a bin. Space is always an issue with TI work in high rise buildings or retail locations and we can offer an easy solution for you. 

We can work with you on planning your project from the minute you start budgeting to the end when your start focusing on your finishes. With our experience, we feel our recycling stations would help streamline your waste as they help sort the recyclables from the actual garbage and it's very easy to manage. This also allows for a faster removal of the material from the site. 

When you choose to work with us, we are available 24 hours 7 days a week. We have found that a lot of tenant improvement projects happen on weekends and late evenings as well. We are more than happy to work with your schedule to get the job successfully completed for you. With having multiple trucks on the road we can make sure all your waste is removed right away making sure you meet your deadlines.

In regards to setting up an organized garbage area, we can consult and train your employees on how to make sure all waste is properly disposed of as well as educate your team on what type of recyclables go where. 

Lastly, a pickup area, keep in mind that we can load from anywhere especially a loading bay where there is some space to deliver the waste from your job by laborers or we would be happy to come to the site and load waste in the elevator as well. 

We worked with our friends at Omicron on many tenant improvements projects in Downtown Vancouver, Burnaby as well as in Port Moody and here is what they had to say about our service: 

I have been working with Sea to Sky Removal over the past year. They are a pleasure to work with. They will show up on any of our jobs at any time that we request. And the pricing is always reasonable with the proper back up and pictures for our records. I recommend them for the quality of service and competitive pricing — Jamie Timmins, Project Manager