Pre-sorting the waste is fundamental to the success of reuse and recycling programmes. For example, packaging is a major source of waste on site. The polyethylene wrapping from bricks, nylon webbing bands, metal bands, edge and corner protectors, and polystyrene blocks could all be recycled, but most goes in the same skip as all the other site waste materials. This renders the packaging materials almost valueless.
The construction industry has a large number of different sub-contractors and usually the incoming sub-contractor has to clear up after the previous one e.g. a glazing company will have to clean up electrical gear. The easier it can be made for different sub-contractors to clean up their different wastes, the better. Hence, some waste companies have introduced modular, wheeled containers that can be left in each regulated area. This means they are likely to be filled up with (only) glass or electrical components in any given place or time.
Although the recycling technology exists and is applied in other industries, there is no evidence of its application in construction because of a lack of financial incentive and the complex relations that exist between the main contractors and often numerous sub-contractors on site.
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