When considering the goal of zero waste construction projects, there are many apparent, and hidden, factors to consider. The first factor is understanding the definition of zero-waste. While different businesses can have different opinions, the most common is that the organization recovers, recycles, and reuses the most material possible so that a minimum amount most be disposed of in landfills.
Common strategies in zero-waste construction projects include using recycled steel, concrete made of fly ash, solar panels, and interior finishes such as flooring made with recycled materials.
One of the larger construction projects of this kind was the Hangar 25 LEED Platinum certified jet hangar in Burbank, California. The facility was constructed using thirty-five percent recycled materials, with over seventy-five percent of all material waste heading to recycling facilities instead of landfills. The hangar’s energy needs are complete met using photovoltaic solar power.
There’s no doubt that striving for zero waste can have its challenges, including collecting and reclaiming waste materials, and securing participation from customers. But having realistic goals and patience can pay off in the long run. The end-result of zero waste construction isn’t about getting to “zero”, it’s about making the strongest effort possible.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: It’s impossible to be “perfect”, either as an individual or as a business. Zero-waste construction is about reducing your waste disposal and increasing your waste recycling as much as possible. Set small goals and keep looking for new ideas – ever step is a positive one towards saving the environment and helping your business to prosper!