In part one of this two-part series, the Miami construction attorneys at Cotney Construction Law discussed the importance of establishing an effective process for sorting materials and waste on the project site to avoid unnecessary and unsustainable waste disposal. When contractors fail to employ a sound method for sorting and disposing of waste, it can lead to a scandal.
The last thing your business needs is a state regulator informing you that you have violated United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations and are facing severe consequences as a result. In part two, we will continue to discuss some important considerations for contractors who want to improve their waste management protocols.
As we mentioned in the first part, your sorted waste will need to be collected in containers and hauled by truck to a construction and demolition debris diversion facility. It’s important to sort these containers accurately so that professionals at the facility can handle them in the appropriate manner. Before you ship off your building-related waste to one such facility, make sure they accept the types of waste you are relocating from the project site, or they may be denied. Typically, your waste will be transported to a sanitary landfill and disposed of. Keep in mind that hazardous waste characteristics like toxicity, reactivity, ignitability, and corrosivity could affect your ability to dispose of waste.
Construction and demolition diversion facilities utilize specialized equipment to handle waste. Waste is moved from its container to a tipping or receiving floor and then stockpiled by a wheel loader operator utilizing a hydraulic excavator or grapple. Larger materials greater than 3 feet in length or width are typically sorted first. This includes materials like steel reinforcing bar, carpeting, concrete, and more.
An inclined metal belt will be used to further sort these materials. Several workers will identify, take hold of, and deposit waste into their respective sorting stations. The picking process mentioned above is essential to an effective sorting process as pieces that are too large to handle manually will limit workers’ ability to collect recoverable materials.
Containerization and Transport
After sorting, the materials are then deposited into industrial containers by equipment operators and manual labor. Sometimes, combination compactor-balers will be used to pack waste into dense bales, which are later loaded into intermodal shipping containers to be transported to local, regional, national, and international intermodal facilities by road, rail, or barge for trade in the global marketplace.
Diversion or Disposal
These materials, if applicable, will eventually be utilized in new products as recycled material. Otherwise, they will be processed for reuse or, in the case of contaminated materials, disposed of in landfills if no market is willing to take on the burden of repurposing the compacted materials.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.