Stop Waste... Before It Starts

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Tips to stop waste before it starts.

August 01, 2000

Consider These Tips to Stop Waste Before It Starts:



  • Use designs that minimize the amount of materials used (advanced framing techniques, optimum value engineering).

  • Avoid "leftovers" -- measure twice and cut once.

  • Choose materials that are durable so homeowners won’t have to replace them as frequently.

  • Use energy efficient practices and products for construction, operation and maintenance of homes.



  • Instead of traditional demolition, consider salvage and deconstruction, by selectively and carefully removing materials for reuse.

  • Allow time in your schedule for salvage and recycling.

  • Donate surplus materials.



  • Most recycling plans succeed if someone takes responsibility for the program. Assign a member of your crew.

  • Recycling can save you money. Any extra time spent on separating materials will be reduced as your crew becomes more experienced.

  • Clean loads are the key to successful recycling. Be sure that your idea of a "clean" load is the same as your recycler’s.

  • Request subcontractors to source separate and participate in your recycling program.

  • At the beginning, set up the site locations for recycling. Color-code or use large signs to help the crew use recycling bins effectively.

    Use Recycled Materials:


  • There are building materials made from recycled content (insulation, plastic lumber, tiles) that are market ready, competitively priced and perform as well as virgin products. For information on how or where to buy recycled building products, call the Recycling Hotline toll free at 877/STOPWASTE or visit their website:

    Source: The Alameda County Waste Mangement Authority and Source Reduction & Recycling Board

    Also See:

    Green to Go: Taking Builder Education on the Road

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