If you have experience of the construction industry, then you’ll know that building projects can generate a vast amount of waste.  It has been estimated that the construction and demolition sectors produce 66.2 million tonnes of waste every year - 61% of all waste produced in the UK.  

Thankfully, a lot of the generated waste can be recycled or reused which helps to promote energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.  

Effective waste management is important for any construction business and comes with many benefits:


Businesses are legally responsible for their waste, even after it has left the property. This applies to those that produce, import or export, carry or transport, keep or store, treat, or dispose of waste.  When disposing of waste through a commercial waste collection company, it is important to make sure they are licensed to do so and do it responsibly.

Reduced Cost

Landfill tax is currently £91.35/tonne and is set to rise again this year.  Construction materials are heavy and so it makes sense to be environmentally conscious. Utilising an experienced waste management provider will help you to avoid unnecessary disposal costs.

Health and Safety

Correct waste disposal, handling and segregation will lower any risks to employees and the general public from materials which may be left in inappropriate places.

Improved Reputation

Businesses in the construction industry that show concern for the environment will develop a good reputation and strengthen their bonds with clients and customers. 

What Waste Construction Materials Can Be Recycled?

Most construction waste will go through a recycling process that sorts and separates materials at a dedicated facility.  This ensures most materials can be recycled or reused and reduces the amount of waste generated.  Thankfully, many materials can be recycled or reused.  Here are some of the mains ones to be aware of:

Bricks & Concrete

Bricks and concrete are almost entirely recyclable.  They can be ground down to create a sub-base material that can be reused for future construction projects.  This process is simple and highly efficient.  


Untreated wood and timber including scaffolding and old beams, can simply be shredded to create raw materials for new wooden products or can even be used as a biomass fuel.  Wood can easily be repurposed too.

Recycled Plastics

We all know how detrimental and damaging plastic can be to the environment.   Many of the types of plastic used in construction can be recycled.  Plus, many recycled plastics can be used to make new materials used in construction or remade into new plastic products.  


The UK uses more than 2.5 million tonnes of plasterboard in the construction industry every year. It is estimated that plasterboard waste from demolition and refurbishment projects equates to more than 1 million tonnes per year.  Plasterboard and other gypsum products are classed as hazardous waste and can not be put to landfill.  Offcuts of plasterboard are less likely to be contaminated and are therefore recyclable.  Recycled gypsum from waste plasterboard can be used in a variety of applications which currently use gypsum from natural or synthetic sources - such as cement and Plaster of Paris.  It can also be used in the food and toiletries industries.


Whilst a little more complicated to recycle than some materials, certain types of insulation material can be recycled. This usually involves a more complex recycling process but helps immensely in reducing carbon emissions and energy waste.


Steel, copper and aluminium can all be melted down to produce new products.  This saves a huge amount of energy and raw materials compared to creating metals from ore, helping both the environment and the construction business.

Why Should Construction Waste Be Recycled?

Recycling across the construction industry is great for the planet and beneficial for businesses too.  Choosing to use recycled building materials and adopting recycling-focused waste management techniques can help you save money and contribute to a sustainable future.   Consider which building materials you can recycle the next time you embark on a project.


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