Contractors must always be cognizant of the approved methods for managing waste on the project site, or they could find themselves in the middle of a scandal, like one construction company in Chicago that was caught dumping a slurry of water and sediment into the Chicago River.
This example highlights an important aspect of construction that is often overlooked — the fact that workers are typically in the public eye when working on the project site. When any passerby can take a photo or video of your workforce not observing the proper waste management practices, it greatly bolsters the need for accountability on the project site. Failing to manage waste properly could even result in fines or litigation.
Fortunately, by partnering with a Jacksonville construction lawyer, you and your workforce will have an experienced and knowledgeable legal representative to ensure that you are employing the approved waste management practices. Learn about these practices and more in this two-part series.
Who is Responsible for Waste Management?
While contractors are largely responsible for understanding and implementing the proper procedures related to waste management on the project site, it actually takes a strong, coordinated effort from governmental, business, and professional groups to ensure that the best waste management practices are being utilized. Effective waste management is integral to the preservation of public health and welfare, and contractors who fail to treat it as so could be harshly penalized by local, state, or federal agencies.
Common Sense Overrules Cost and Consequences
If contractors fail to manage building-related waste, organizations like the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) believe the effect on societal health and welfare will overshadow the high cost of waste management. Additionally, although waste management can have unexpected consequences that may require additional action, the Whole Building Design Guide (WBGD), a program of the National Institute of Building Sciences, notes that “common sense suggests that failure to reduce, reuse and recycle societal wastes is unsustainable.”
What Can Contractors Do?
So, what is it going to take to effectively manage building-related waste on the project site? Experts believe that it starts with effective procedures for the elimination and minimization of waste that can’t be reused or repurposed. Contractors should also develop a system for recognizing and allocating reusable waste for increased sustainability. Changing the way project sites eliminate waste isn’t going to happen overnight, but with an innovative mindset, ardent dedication to sustainability, comprehensive knowledge of project site waste production, and an in-depth understanding of the applicable regulations governing waste management for construction professionals, the industry can greatly reduce its environmental impact and avoid an environmental fiasco, such as the one that resulted in a heavily polluted Chicago River.
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.