By Michael Lavorato
If you drive past a new housing estate, home renovation or commercial job site while the build is still in progress, you’ll notice that the construction process can produce significant waste. Often there’ll be a rubbish skip on-site, and often it’s overflowing with all manner of damaged or excess materials.
Generally speaking, the building industry works allowing a 10 per cent buffer for materials, to ensure there’s extra in case there’s been a miscalculation or damage during the build, but in many cases these additional materials are not needed and end up in the bin.
There are a number of issues that arise from waste on the building site. Firstly, there’s a financial element – the materials are purchased and somebody has to pay for this, more often than not, it’s the developer or project owner.
Another consideration is that the waste needs to be disposed of, and ultimately is contributing to landfill. For a larger company such as ours, waste at a 10 per cent level equates to the same quantity of materials we’d use to plaster 10, 40 square homes per year. It all adds up.
There’s also the issue of site safety, a cluttered work space is more dangerous and can make it difficult for the tradespeople to easily navigate the site. For developers, excess waste on the job site is unsightly as well, and can detract from the project’s image, possibly leaving buyers to look elsewhere.
As a leading plasterboard contractor, TM Linings takes the issue of waste very seriously and earlier this year we set a maximum target of 2 per cent for waste produced from our plastering work.
To achieve this ambitious target we’ve implemented a number of strategies. Firstly, we are committed to individual site measuring for every job – it’s the building equivalent to getting a tailored suit – and gives us the exact requirements for each job rather than just an estimate.
Another initiative of TM Linings is an industry-first recycling program, it’s a standard value added service that we provide to our partners and customers at no additional cost. The program involves placing a recycling cube on all of our building sites that’s exclusively for waste plasterboard. Once the plastering is completed, we return the excess offcuts to the plasterboard manufacturer for recycling.
The program has been extremely well received by our clients, especially the larger developers who like the street appeal of their developments to be maintained during the construction process.
As one of the major New South Wales’ plastering contractors, we feel bound to play our role in minimising waste in our industry, so we are extremely proud of these new initiatives, and we look forward to developing more recycling and waste reduction opportunities in the future
Michael is the Director of TM Linings – now the largest plasterboard specialist in NSW servicing greater Sydney, the Hunter Valley, the South Coast, Southern Highlands and the ACT. The company is recognised as the largest third party customer of CSR Gyprock, USG Boral and Knauf Australia, the three major industry suppliers.
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