Ways to minimise waste during a construction project

Ways to minimise waste during a construction project

It is important to clarify how your builders use their resources efficiently and how they keep waste to a minimum during a construction project. Every project will have waste but it is vital to manage on site waste effectively. Here are a few points to keep in mind to minimise construction waste.

Planning and project design

A good design and project plan is essential to reduce waste during a construction project. Throughout planning designers should ensure all resources will be used efficiently. A Site Waste Management Plan is non-compulsory but can ensure construction waste is safely disposed and highlights the on-site waste processes. Designers should also keep in mind the lifespan of the building.


It is important to responsibly source all materials used. Make sure materials are not over-ordered and if possible return any unused materials. Correct timing of material deliveries is an important factor to minimise waste on site. If some materials are stored for a long period of time on site they could become unusable. Make sure materials are delivered when the materials are needed so they are not wasted. Remember every project is different so make sure you plan your materials for the exact project requirements.

Recycle and reuse

Identify any existing project materials you can reuse and make sure you set processes up for recycling materials. Ordering and using materials which have a high recycled content is a great way to keep waste to a minimum. Consider donating unused materials if you are unable to return them. Keep in mind some suppliers may have a take-back scheme.

Remember, there are still ways you can improve your waste management even if your project is already underway. Here are some questions to ask your builder to ensure waste is kept to a minimum:

What and where is the construction waste?

Firstly, clarify where the site waste is located and what type of waste it is. Usually different amounts of waste will be created during different construction stages of the project. Make sure you identify what is creating the most waste.

Why is the waste occurring?

Now you can identify why the waste is occurring and if you can reduce the waste during the project. Waste can usually be reduced with effective planning and project processes.

How does your business address construction waste management?

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