1. Unit IV
Methods to reduce embodied energy in building materials
a) Local building materials
b) Natural and renewable materials like bamboo, timber, rammed
earth, stabilized mud blocks
c) Materials with recycled content such as blended cements,
pozzolana cements, fly ash bricks, vitrified tiles, materials from
agro and industrial waste
d) Reuse of waste and salvaged materials
II) Waste Management
a) Handling of construction & demolition waste materials
b) Separation of house hold waste
c) Handling e-waste
d) On-site and off-site organic waste management
I)Methods to reduce embodied energy in building
10 steps to reduce embodied carbon
Reuse buildings instead of constructing new ones. Renovation and reuse
projects typically save between 50 and 75 percent of the embodied carbon
emissions compared to constructing a new building. This is especially true if
the foundations and structure are preserved, since most embodied carbon
Specify low-carbon concrete mixes. Even though emissions per ton are not
relatively high, its weight and prevalence usually make concrete the biggest
2. source of embodied carbon in virtually any project. Design lower carbon
concrete mixes by using fly ash, slag, calcined clays, or even lower-strength
concrete where feasible. Though access to these materials varies across the
country, with an increasing number of options there is almost always
something that can reduce the carbon footprint of your concrete mix.
Limit carbon-intensive materials. For products with high carbon footprints
like aluminum, plastics, and foam insulation, thoughtful use is essential. For
instance, while aluminum may complement the aesthetics of your project, it is
still important to use it judiciously because of its significant carbon footprint.
Choose lower carbon alternatives. Think about the possibilities. If you can
utilize a wood structure instead of steel and concrete, or wood siding instead
of vinyl, you can reduce the embodied carbon in a project. In most cases, it’s
probably not possible to avoid carbon intensive products altogether—metals,
plastics, aluminum—but you can review Environmental Product Declarations
and look for lower carbon alternatives.
Choose carbon sequestering materials. Using agricultural products that
sequester carbon can make a big impact on the embodied carbon in a project.
Wood may first come to mind, but you can also consider options like straw or
hemp insulation, which—unlike wood—are annually renewable.
Reuse materials. Whenever possible, look to salvage materials like brick,
metals, broken concrete, or wood. Salvaged materials typically have a much
lower embodied carbon footprint than newly manufactured materials, since
the carbon to manufacture them has already been spent. With reclaimed
wood in particular, you not only save the energy that would have been spent
in cutting the tree down, transporting it to the mill, and processing it, but the
tree you never cut down is still doing the work of sequestering carbon.
3. Use high-recycled content materials. This is especially important with
metals. Virgin steel, for example, can have an embodied carbon footprint that
is five times greater than high-recycled content steel.
Maximize structural efficiency. Because most of the embodied carbon is in
the structure, look for ways to achieve maximum structural efficiency. Using
optimum value engineering wood framing methods, efficient structural
sections, and slabs are all effective methods to maximize efficiency and
minimize material use.
Use fewer finish materials. One way to do this is to use structural materials
as finish. Using polished concrete slabs as finished flooring saves the
embodied carbon from carpet or vinyl flooring. Unfinished ceilings are another
potential source of embodied carbon savings.
Minimize waste. Particularly in wood-framed residential projects, designing in
modules can minimize waste. Think in common sizes for common materials
like 4x8 plywood, 12-foot gypsum boards, 2-foot increments for wood framing,
and pre-cut structural members.
Guidelines for reducing embodied energy
Lightweight building construction such as timber frame is usually lower in embodied
energy than heavyweight construction. This is not necessarily the case if large
amounts of light but high energy materials such as steel or aluminium are used.
There are many situations where a lightweight building is the most appropriate and
may result in the lowest life cycle energy use (e.g. hot, humid climates; sloping or
shaded sites; sensitive landscapes).
In climates with greater heating and cooling requirements and significant day–night
temperature variations, embodied energy in a high level of well-insulated thermal
mass can significantly offset the energy used for heating and cooling.
4. There is little benefit in building a house with high embodied energy in the thermal
mass or other elements of the envelope in areas where heating and cooling
requirements are minimal or where other passive design principles are not applied.
Each design should select the best combination for its application based on climate,
transport distances, availability of materials and budget, balanced against known
embodied energy content.
Design for long life and adaptability, using durable low maintenance materials.
Ensure materials can be easily separated.
Avoid building a bigger house than you need — and save materials.
Modify or refurbish instead of demolishing or adding.
Ensure construction wastes and materials from demolition of existing buildings are
reused or recycled.
Use locally sourced materials (including materials salvaged on site) to reduce
Select low embodied energy materials (which may include materials with a high
recycled content), preferably based on supplier-specific data.
Avoid wasteful material use. For example, specify standard sizes wherever possible
(windows, door, panels) to avoid using additional materials as fillers. Some energy
intensive finishes, such as paints, often have high wastage levels so try to buy only
as much as you need.
Ensure offcuts are recycled and use only sufficient structural materials to ensure
stability and meet construction standards.
Select materials that can be reused or recycled easily at the end of their lives using
existing recycling systems.
5. Give preference to materials that have been manufactured using renewable energy
Use efficient building envelope design and fittings to minimise materials (e.g. an
energy efficient building envelope can downsize or eliminate the need for heaters
and coolers, water-efficient taps can allow downsizing of water pipes).
Ask suppliers for information on their products and share this information.
I a)Local building materials
I b)Natural and renewable materials like bamboo,
timber, rammed earth, stabilized mud blocks
Sustainability experts nearly universally agree bamboo is one of the best eco-friendly
building materials on the planet. Its rate of self-generation is incredibly high, with
some species growing up to three feet in 24 hours. Bamboo technically is a perennial
grass, not a wood, and it continues spreading and growing without having to be
replanted after harvest. It is prevalent around the world and can be found on every
continent except Europe and Antarctica.
Bamboo has a high strength-to-weight ratio and exceptional durability — even
greater compressive strength than brick or concrete — so it can take a beating
without being replaced very often, which is not necessarily the case with other fast-
growing, sustainable items such as hemp. That makes bamboo a viable choice for
flooring and cabinetry.
6. Because it is lightweight, bamboo is less energy intensive to transport than many
other materials of comparable durability. A drawback is that it requires treatment to
resist insects and rot; untreated bamboo has a starch that insects like, and it can
swell and crack when it absorbs water.
Reclaimed or recycled wood and metal
Aluminum and steel are high embodied energy materials due to the energy required
to produce them, such as mining the ore, heating and shaping products, and
transporting a relatively heavy material. But each time the metal is properly and
efficiently reused or recycled into new products, its embodied energy lowers and
makes the material more sustainable because "you're not extracting raw aluminum,"
Stopka said. "If you think of the whole thing like a cycle from the raw extraction to the
processing to the installation to the demolition to the disposal, when you get to
recycling you basically cut out the whole raw extraction and processing."
Recycled metal is a long-lasting material that does not need frequent replacement. It
tends not to burn or warp, making it a viable option for roofing, structural supports
and building façades. It's also water and pest resistant.
Reclaimed metals, such as plumbing components, sometimes can be used in their
existing forms instead of having to be recycled and manufactured into a new product.
Like recycled metal, reclaiming and reusing wood reduces its embodied energy,
which already is lower because of its light weight. Wood does have less strength
though, so each piece's integrity should be assessed and chosen for an appropriate
Reclaimed wood can be used for a plethora of building purposes, including structural
framing, flooring, siding and cabinetry. Density varies by the type of wood and some
stand up better over time. However, most wood is susceptible to insects and
degradation, reinforcing the need to thoroughly inspect each reclaimed piece.
Rammed Earth and Embodied Energy. Rammed earth is a technique for
constructing sustainable buildings, with a low energy demand encompassing the
7. whole life cycle of buildings. ... In order to reduce the energy demand for the entire
life cycle of buildings, the embodied energy must be taken into account.
The embodied energy of rammed earth is low to moderate. Composed of selected
aggregates bound with cementitious material, rammed earth can be thought of as a
kind of ‘weak concrete’. It may help to understand cement and earth products as
being at different points on an energy continuum, with earth at the low end and high
strength concrete at the high end. Its cement and aggregate content can be varied to
suit engineering and strength requirements.
Although in principle it is a low greenhouse gas emission product, transport and
cement manufacture can add significantly to the overall emissions associated with
typical modern rammed earth construction. The most basic kind of traditional
rammed earth has very low greenhouse gas emissions but the more highly
engineered and processed variants may be responsible for significant emissions in
their manufacture. For example, a 300mm rammed earth wall with 5% cement
content has the equivalent of 15mm thickness of cement, equivalent to over 100mm
of concrete (which mainly comprises sand and aggregate).
The ideal building material would be ‘borrowed’ from the environment and replaced
after use. There would be little or no processing of the raw material and all the
energy inputs would be directly, or indirectly, from the sun. This ideal material would
also be cheap and would perform well thermally and acoustically. If used carefully,
mud bricks come close to this ideal.
Basic mud bricks are made by mixing earth with water, placing the mixture into
moulds and drying the bricks in the open air. Straw or other fibres that are strong in
tension are often added to the bricks to help reduce cracking. Mud bricks are joined
with a mud mortar and can be used to build walls, vaults and domes.
Mud bricks could have the lowest impact of all construction materials. Mud brick
should not contain any organic matter — the bricks should be made from clays and
sands and not include living soil. They require very little generated energy to
manufacture, but large amounts of water. Their embodied energy content is
potentially the lowest of all building materials but the use of additives such as
8. cement, excessive transport and other mechanical energy use can increase the
‘delivered’ embodied energy of all earth construction (see Embodied energy).
In a similar way, the greenhouse gas emissions associated with unfired mud bricks
can (and should) be very low. To keep emissions to an absolute minimum, the
consumption of fossil fuel and other combustion processes have to be avoided. If,
say, 5% cement is added to a 300mm mud brick wall, it makes a fairly high
energy/high emission building material, close to the embodied energy of a 125mm
unreinforced concrete wall.
Ic)Materials with recycled content such as blended
cements, pozzolana cements, fly ash bricks, vitrified
tiles, materials from agro and industrial waste
Blended Cement: The construction industry is one of the fastest growing and a
major energy consuming sector. As a result large numbers of buildings are built for
residential, commercial and office purposes every year all over the world.
Construction industry, along with its support industries, is one of the largest
exploiters of natural resources, both renewable and non-renewable.
Concrete is widely considered as the backbone of the construction industry,
with a current consumption of 1 cubic meter per person per year. Ordinary
Portland cement (OPC) has been used for around 200 years now as a binder
material. However OPC has high embodied energy of 4.2MJ/kg. The contribution of
OPC is approximately 5–7% of global man made CO2 emissions. High CO2
emissions arising from OPC manufacturing are from calcination of limestone,
and high energy consumption during manufacturing
The following are some alternatives to OPC concrete have been proposed to reduce
green house gas emissions:
Blended Cement Concretes, comprising OPC that has been partly
substituted by supplementary cementitious materials, are used as binders for
concrete. Commonly used substitutes include fly ash, a fine waste residue that
9. is collected from the emissions liberated by coal burning power stations, and
ground granulated blast furnace slag(GGBS), a waste by-product from steelmaking.
According to Flower and Sanjayan use of blended cements results in reduction of
CO2 emissions by 13–22%. These estimates vary according to the local conditions
at the source of raw materials, binder quantity and amount of OPC replacement, type
of manufacturing facilities, climate, energy sources, and transportation distances.
Geo-polymer Concretes, comprising of an alkali-activated fly ash, has
been considered as a substitute for OPC. Geo-polymers were described as inorganic
materials rich in silicon (Si) and Aluminium (Al) that react with alkaline activators to
become cementitious. Alkaline activators used for geo-polymers are usually a
combination of a hydroxyl, usually sodium hydroxide (NaOH) or potassium hydroxide
(KOH), and a glassy silicate, consisting of sodium silicate or potassium silicate,
with NaOH and sodium silicate being the most common due to cost and
availability. To achieve comparable strength to OPC concrete, it is necessary
to provide geo-polymer concrete with elevated temperature curing between 40 and
80 C for at least 6 hours.
Ie)Reuse of waste and salvaged materials
IIa)Handling of construction & demolition waste
Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules 2016
The construction and demolition waste generated is about 530 million tonnes
annually. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change notified the
Construction & Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016 on 29 March 2016. The
rules are an initiative to effectively tackle the issues of pollution and waste
o Applies to everyone who generates construction and demolition waste.
2. Duties of waste Generators
10. o Every waste generator shall segregate construction and demolition
waste and deposit at collection centre or handover it to the authorised
o Shall ensure that there is no littering or deposition so as to prevent
obstruction to the traffic or the public or drains.
o Large generators (who generate more than 20 tons or more in one day
or 300 tons per project in a month) shall submit waste management
plan and get appropriate approvals from the local authority before
starting construction or demolition or remodelling work,
o Large generators shall have environment management plan to address
the likely environmental issues from construction, demolition, storage,
transportation process and disposal / reuse of C & D Waste.
o Large generators shall segregate the waste into four streams such as
concrete, soil, steel, wood and plastics, bricks and mortar,
o Large generators shall pay relevant charges for collection,
transportation, processing and disposal as notified by the concerned
3. Duties of Service providers and Contractors
o The service providers shall prepare a comprehensive waste
management plan for waste generated within their jurisdiction, within
six months from the date of notification of these rules,
o Shall remove all construction and demolition waste in consultation with
the concerned local authority on their own or through any agency.
4. Duties of State Government and Local Authorities
o The Secretary, UDD in the State Government shall prepare their policy
with respect to management of construction and demolition of waste
within one year from date of final notification of these rules.
o The concerned department in the State Government dealing with land
shall provide suitable sites for setting up of the storage, processing and
recycling facilities for construction and demolition waste with one-and-
a-half years from date of final notification of these rules.
o The Town and Country planning Department shall incorporate the site
in the approved land use plan so that there is no disturbance to the
processing facility on a long term basis.
11. o Shall procure and utilize 10-20% materials made from construction and
demolition waste in municipal and Government contracts.
o Local Authority shall place appropriate containers for collection of
waste, removal at regular intervals, transportation to appropriate sites
for processing and disposal.
o LA shall seek detailed plan or undertaking from large generator of
construction and demolition waste and sanction the waste
o Seek assistance from concerned authorities for safe disposal of
construction and demolition waste contaminated with industrial
hazardous or toxic material or nuclear waste if any;
o LA shall give appropriate incentives to generator for salvaging,
processing and or recycling preferably in-situ;
o LA shall establish a data base and update once in a year,
o Million plus cities (based on 2011 census of India), shall commission
the processing and disposal facility within one-and-a-half years from
date of final notification of these rules
o 0.5 to 1 million cities, shall commission the processing and disposal
facility within two years from date of final notification of these rules
o for other cities (< 0.5 million populations), shall commission the
processing and disposal facility within three years from date of final
notification of these rules
5. Duties of Central Pollution Control Board, State Pollution Control Board
or Pollution Control Committee
o The Central Pollution Control Board shall prepare operational
guidelines related to environmental management of construction and
o SPCB shall grant authorization to construction and demolition waste
o Monitor the implementation of these rules by the concerned local
o Submit annual report to the Central Pollution Control Board and the
6. Standards for products of construction and demolition waste
12. o The Bureau of Indian Standards need to prepare code of practices and
standards for products of construction and demolition waste
o Indian Roads Congress need to prepare standards and practices
pertaining to products of construction and demolition waste in roads
7. Duties of Central Ministries
o The Ministry of Urban Development, and the Ministry of Rural
Development, Ministry of Panchayat Raj, shall facilitate local bodies in
compliance of these rules;
o The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change shall review
implementation of these rules as and when required.
8. Facility for processing / recycling facility
o The operator of the facility shall obtain authorization from State
Pollution Control Board or Pollution Control Committee.
o The processing / recycling site shall be away from habitation clusters,
forest areas, water bodies, monuments, National Parks, Wetlands and
places of important cultural, historical or religious interest.
o The processing/recycling facility exceeding five Tones per day
capacity, shall maintain a buffer zone of no development around the
IIb)Separation of house hold waste
Waste sorting is the process by which waste is separated into different
elements. Waste sorting can occur manually at the household and collected
through curbside collection schemes, or automatically separated in materials
recovery facilities or mechanical biological treatment systems.
Waste separation, also known as waste classification or waste
segregation, is the process by which waste is separated into different
elements operated manually at the household or through curbside collection
Waste sorting is the process by which waste is separated into different
Waste sorting can occur manually at the household and collected
13. through curbside collection schemes, or automatically separated in materials
recovery facilities or mechanical biological treatment systems. Hand sorting was the
first method used in the history of waste sorting.
Waste can also be sorted in a civic amenity site.
"Waste segregation" means dividing waste into dry and wet. Dry waste includes
wood and related products, metals and glass. Wet waste typically refers to organic
waste usually generated by eating establishments and are heavy in weight due to
dampness. Waste can also be segregeconomic concern.
Waste is collected at its source in each area and separated. The way that waste is
sorted must reflect local disposal systems. The following categories are common:
Cardboard (including packaging for return to suppliers)
Glass (clear, tinted – no light bulbs or window panes, which belong with residual
Wood, leather, rubber
Organic waste can also be segregated for disposal:
Leftover food which has had any contact with meat can be collected separately to
prevent the spread of bacteria.
o Meat and bone can be retrieved by bodies responsible for animal waste.
o If other leftovers are sent, for example, to local farmers, they can be sterilised
before being fed to the animals.
Peels and scrapings from fruit and vegetables can be composted along with
other degradable matter. Other waste can be included for composting, such
as cut flowers, corks, coffee grounds, rotting fruit, tea bags, eggshells and
nutshells, and paper towels.
Chip pan oil, used fats, vegetable oil and the content of fat filters can be collected by
companies able to re-use them. Local authority waste departments can provide
relevant addresses. This can be achieved by providing recycling bins.
14. IIc)Handling e-waste
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change notified the E-Waste
Management Rules, 2016 on 23 March 2016 in supersession of the e-waste
(Management & Handling) Rules, 2011.
1. Manufacturer, dealer, refurbisher and Producer Responsibility Organization
(PRO) have been introduced as additional stakeholders in the rules.
2. The applicability of the rules has been extended to components,
consumables, spares and parts of EEE in addition to equipment as listed in
3. Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) and other mercury containing lamp brought
under the purview of rules.
4. Collection mechanism based approach has been adopted to include collection
centre, collection point, take back system etc for collection of e - waste by
Producers under Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).
5. Option has been given for setting up of PRO , e - waste exchange , e -
retailer, Deposit Refund Scheme as additional channel for implementation of
EPR by Producers to ensure efficient channelization of e - waste.
6. Provision for Pan India EPR Authorization by CPCB has been introduced
replacing the state wise EPR authorization.
7. Collection and channelisation of e - waste in Extended Producer
Responsibility - Authorisation shall be i n line with the targets prescribed in
Schedule III of the Rules. The phase wise Collection Target for e - waste,
which can be either in number or Weight shall be 30% of the quantity of waste
generation as indicated in EPR Plan during first two year of implementation of
rules followed by 40% during third and fourth years, 50% during fifth and sixth
years and 70% during seventh year onwards.
8. Deposit Refund Scheme has been introduced as an additional economic
instrument wherein the producer charges an additional amount as a deposit at
the time of sale of the electrical and electronic equipment and returns it to the
consumer along with interest when the end - of - life electrical and electronic
equipment is returned.
9. The e - waste exchange as an option has been provided in the rules as an
independent market instrument offering assistance or independent electronic
15. systems offering services for sale and purchase of e - waste generated from
end - of - life electrical and electronic equipment between agencies or
organizations authorised under these rules.
10.The manufacturer is also now responsible to collect e - waste generated
during the manufacture of any electrical and electronic equipment and
channelise it for recycling or disposal and seek authorization from SPCB.
11.The dealer, if has been given the responsibility of collection on behalf of the
producer, need to collect the e - waste by providing the consumer a box and
channelize it to Producer.
12.Dealer or retailer or e - retailer shall refund the amount as per take back
system or De posit Refund Scheme of the producer to the depositor of e -
13.Refurbisher need collect e - waste generated during the process of
refurbishing and channelise the waste to authorised dismantler or recycler
through its collection centre and seek one time authorization from SPCB.
14.The roles of the State Government has been also introduced in the Rules in
order to ensure safety, health and skill development of the workers involved in
the dismantling and recycling operations.
15.Department of Industry in State o r any other government agency authorised
in this regard by the State Government is to ensure earmarking or allocation
of industrial space or shed for e - waste dismantling and recycling in the
existing and upcoming industrial park, estate and industrial clusters.
16.Department of Labour in the State or any other government agency
authorised in this regard by the State Government need to ensure recognition
and registration of workers involved in dismantling and recycling; assist
formation of groups of such workers to facilitate setting up dismantling
facilities; undertake industrial skill development activities for the workers
involved in dismantling and recycling; and undertake annual monitoring and to
ensure safety & health of workers involved in dismantling and recycling.
17.State Government to prepare integrated plan for effective implementation of
these provisions, and to submit annual report to Ministry of Environment,
Forest and Climate Change.
16. 18.The transportation of e - waste shall be carried out as per the manifest system
whereby the transporter shall be required to carry a document (three copies)
prepared by the sender, giving the details.
19.Liability for damages caused to the environment or third party due to improper
management of e - waste including provision for levying financial penalty for
violation of provisions of the Rules has also been introduced.
20.Urban Local Bodies (Municipal Committee/Council/Corporation) has been
assign the duty to collect and channelized the orphan products to authorized
dismantler or recycler.
Salient Features of the E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016
and its likely implication
To access the salient features of the E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016 in comparison
to the e-waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 2011 with the reasons /and likely
implications, click here.
To access the complete E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016, click here.
Amendments in E-Waste Management Rules 2016
The E-Waste Management Rules 2016 have been amended vide notification G.S.R.
261(E), dated March 22, 2018.
The amendment in rules has been done with the objective of channelizing the E-
waste generated in the country towards authorized dismantlers and recyclers in
order to formalize the e-waste recycling sector. The collection targets under the
provision of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in the Rules have been revised
and targets have been introduced for new producers who have started their sales
Some of the salient features of the E-waste (Management) Amendment Rules, 2018
are as follows:
1. The e-waste collection targets under EPR have been revised and will be
applicable from 1 October 2017. The phase-wise collection targets for e-waste
in weight shall be 10% of the quantity of waste generation as indicated in the
EPR Plan during 2017-18, with a 10% increase every year until 2023. After
2023 onwards, the target has been made 70% of the quantity of waste
generation as indicated in the EPR Plan.
17. 2. The quantity of e-waste collected by producers from the 1 October 2016 to 30
September 2017 shall be accounted for in the revised EPR targets until March
3. Separate e-waste collection targets have been drafted for new producers, i.e.
those producers whose number of years of sales operation is less than the
average lives of their products. The average lives of the products will be as
per the guidelines issued by CPCB from time to time.
4. Producer Responsibility Organizations (PROs) shall apply to the Central
Pollution Control board (CPCB) for registration to undertake activities
prescribed in the Rules.
5. Under the Reduction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) provisions, cost for
sampling and testing shall be borne by the government for conducting the
RoHS test. If the product does not comply with RoHS provisions, then the cost
of the test will be borne by the Producers.
IId)On-site and off-site organic waste management
Discussing the pros and cons of on-site segregation
versus off-site segregation
We all know just how important it is to ensure that as much waste as possible is
diverted away from landfill via alternatives routes such as recycling, but can this be
achieved better on-site or off-site? The discussion rumbles on…
It has been identified in recent government statistics, that the construction industry is
the UK’s largest producer of waste. It is estimated that the construction industry
alone produces around 109 million tonnes of waste, which equates to 24% of the
total waste produced in the UK. Worryingly 13% of this waste is due to over ordering
on site (but this is the subject for another discussion). Of the 109 million tonnes of
waste produced, it is estimated the around 36 million tonnes is sent to landfill. These
are still shocking statistics at a time when the target for us all should be zero waste
Of course, one effective way that we can reduce the amount of waste that has to be
sent to landfill is to be efficient and economical when ordering materials for site,
reducing the volume of materials that have to be sent to landfill unnecessarily, and in
18. instances where materials have been ‘over ordered’ ensure that they are reused.
The same principle can be applied to waste that has been produced; where possible
it should always be reused, diverting it from landfill.
So what does all this have to do with waste segregation? Waste segregation whether
on-site or off-site can facilitate the reuse philosophy, further reducing the volume of
waste to be sent to landfill. For projects where space is limited, full on site waste
segregation can be a problem. In this situation it is important to use a reputable
waste carrier, who will take the waste to a waste transfer station, with a materials
recovery facility (MRF) for off-site segregation.
Below we discuss the pros and cons for both on-site segregation and off-site
Minimising the overall volume of waste
Separating different waste streams and effectively storing them (compacting or
crushing packaging and light mixed wastes) due a smaller volume of waste, could
lead to a reduction in your collection costs. You could fit more waste into the units
that you have on site.
Ensuring your team on site take responsibility helps you recycle more
Your team on site will know better then anybody what materials they are disposing
of. Working with them to take responsibility to for ensuring materials that could be
reused aren’t thrown away, could avoid higher landfill and disposal costs
Reduces your carbon footprint whilst driving up your credit credentials
Differentiate yourselves from your competitors; promoting yourselves as a company
that is working towards zero waste to landfill, could be beneficial
Safer working practices
Segregating and storing waste streams properly minimises the risk of accidents and
improves site health and safety
Training your staff on site can initially take time; however once established this
approach to waste can be mirrored on other sites
19. The outlay for hiring more skip to site initially will be greater, before cost savings will
Space on site
Having more skips on site takes significantly more room which on a small site may
be a problem
Unless all staff and contractors on site work towards the change, cross
contamination can still occur
Less room needed on site
One massive benefit to passing the control of your waste segregation to a waste
company is that you don’t require space on site for multiple skips; which on a small
site where space is at a premium it could be a problem.
Lower costs initially
You don’t have the outlay of hiring multiple skips to site at once. Instead just having
‘a skip’ on site which requires multiple collections.
Specialists on site at the MRF
At the MRF staff there are specialists; they will ensure that the waste streams
collected are efficiently identified and sorted prior to recycling
Relives time pressure for staff
Having the waste segregated off-site means that your staff on-site don’t have to
spend time sorting waste when placing it in the skip
Not all materials could be reused efficiently
Your staff on site know the materials that they are disposing; they could be disposing
of materials that could be used on another site
More collections may be necessary on the single skip
Although you may have a lower outlay initially because of only ordering one skip to
site; you may need more collections arranged for it. This can result in additional
Higher landfill tax expenditure
Some MRF’s are more efficient then others, so more of your waste might end up in
landfill; resulting in the extra landfill tax charge
20. Fines or additional costs for contaminated skips
Hazardous or specialist waste may end up being disposed in the skip, which has to
be treated separately incurring additional charges
Whilst SWMP’s are no longer a legal requirement, 83% of participants in a
recent WRAP survey said that having a SWMP encouraged them to segregate waste
on site. At NatWaste, we still offer a complete waste management ‘cradle to grave’
service, where our staff will visit site and work with your staff to identify waste
streams, and how they can be efficiently segregated and diverted away from landfill.
Click here to find out how the NatWaste team can help you :-
Divert waste away from landfill
Reduce your carbon footprint
Potentially reduce your on-site costs
Checklist: Organic Waste Management - Composting
Follow all state and local regulations regarding composting. Contact
Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources Composting Program for
more information Mass Gov Agricultural Composting Program.
Most organic waste materials generated by a greenhouse can be composted.
Avoid composting grass clippings that has been treated with herbicides.
Compost piles should always be distant and downwind from sensitive neighbors
and not sited close to residential property.
Piles should be protected from surface water and storm water runoff.
Proportions of carbon to nitrogen are critical to successful composting. The
materials being composted will determine the exact recipe for any given
operation. Materials with high carbon to nitrogen ratios, such as 100:1, should be
balanced with materials having low carbon to nitrogen ratios, e.g. 15:1.
Regular turning of the pile will mix the nutrients and re-establish pile structure.
Moisture content can be adjusted during turning.
After the compost has gone through several heating and cooling cycles and the
original waste has decomposed, the compost process should slowly finish in a
Activities that tend to release odors should be scheduled to minimize negative
21. Consider wind conditions before opening compost piles. Stronger winds can
disperse odors but also create dust concerns. Care should be taken to control
dust when grinding and turning piles.
Most odor problems can be avoided, controlled, or minimized by keeping the
compost pile aerobic, porous, well aerated, and well mixed. Odor problems are
most likely when anaerobic decomposition is occurring.
Organic Waste Management
Composting is a managed process which utilizes microorganisms naturally present
in organic matter and soil to decompose organic material. These microorganisms
require basic nutrients, oxygen, and water in order for decomposition to occur at an
accelerated pace. The end-product, compost, is a dark brown, humus-like material
which can be easily and safely handled, stored, and used as a valuable soil
conditioner. The composting process is dependent upon several factors, including:
the population of microorganisms, carbon to nitrogen ratio, oxygen level,
temperature, moisture, surface area, pH, and time.