Waste from New Construction

New building construction creates five per cent of all construction and demolition material discarded from the Metro Vancouver region. The construction stream is very clean and easy to sort at each stage of construction. For example, mostly wood waste is produced during framing, whereas cardboard packaging is generated when interior finishes and appliances are installed.

With proper planning new construction projects throughout the Lower Mainland have been able to reuse or recycle more than 75 per cent of their materials - saving builders money on disposal costs and keeping usable materials out of the landfill.

Construction waste management or jobsite recycling identifies ways to reduce waste, divert materials from the landfill and properly dispose of them.

Before starting a waste management plan, prioritize materials that are banned from disposal to avoid surcharges at Metro Vancouver transfer stations and at the City of Vancouver Landfill.

Contractors, building owners and construction professionals can minimize the amount of waste sent to disposal by deciding on waste diversion targets at the design and planning stage. Targets should be included in construction specifications and shared with all team members.

As waste tipping fees continue to increase more materials will be banned from disposal. Voluntary building standards such as LEED® and BuiltGreen™ are making construction waste management a priority. These practices have become more commonplace on project sites throughout the region.

Construction Waste Management Plan Set Up

Follow these guidelines to launch an on-site waste management plan. More information and tips are available in the DLC Toolkit. You can also download a sample construction waste management plan prepared by Metro Vancouver.

Step 1: Estimate your waste and recyclables

 Based on the type and size of your project estimate the type and quantity of waste materials generated on site. (For averages, refer to the Waste Generation Rates Table on page 53 in the DLC Toolkit.)

Demolition, New Construction and Renovation Projects Waste Generation Rates

NC:New Construction

* This is an average calculated from a wide range of renovation projects such as kitchen, bathroom, deck and roof
** This rate was calculated from a range or commercial retrofits and tenant improvement projects

Step 2: Choose a recycling program that fits

Decide what type of collection is appropriate for your site and research hauling options.

Source separation: recyclables are sorted on-site and put into separate bins; results in lower tipping fees at recycling facilities.

Mixed collection: recyclables put into one bin and taken to a facility for sorting; good for sites with limited space.

Step 3: Create a waste management plan

The plan should have all the information needed for workers to achieve the waste diversion goals and targets.

Step 4: Organize your recycling program

Designate a person or team who will be responsible for implementing the program and monitoring the site.

Metro Vancouver has an excellent database of salvage contractors, construction waste haulers and processors that salvage, reuse and recycle construction wastes. You can search Metro Vancouver Recycles by location, material, service or facility names.

Metro Vancouver Recycles

Metro Vancouver also has a list of facilities that accept construction and demolition waste, along with facility-specific diversion rates and a list of materials each facility is authorized and unauthorized to accept:

Facility Diversion Rates