Thursday, May 29, 2008

YOUR HOUSE, YOUR RULES! Ten Ways To Ensure Your Home Is Properly Recycled & Your Construction Project Doesn’t Generate Needless Waste

Last week I posted 10 tips for building professionals to reuse and recycle materials. This week I have tips for homeowners who are looking to remodel and reduce waste.
  1. Plan ahead to save (ReUse and Recycle). Failure to plan could needlessly cost you.
  2. Do the Research & Take the Lead Yourself: don’t rely on the professionals to find out what can and cannot be recycled and reused – Industry professionals are ultimately their to service your needs.
  3. As part of your hiring criteria, interview and hire general contractors you know to have a permanent and well developed waste management plan for all their project sites.
  4. Be Assertive. State your preference clearly where diversion practices are concerned.
  5. Check contractor references: Ask about his/her “service” in addition to time and cost of work performed; how orderly did the contractor keep their project site? Does the reference or did the referral witness or otherwise have familiarity with this aspect of the contractor’s service?
  6. Have recycle bins available for your contractor. Keep in mind that you will have extra bodies eating and drinking daily for a long period of time. Can your bins handle it? If not, take steps to prepare and insist they be utilized, such as posting simple signs saying what waste goes where and get the commitment of your contractor to take up the lead and follow through with the plan.\
  7. Consider a Deconstruction Solution for your project. It’s not appropriate for every project – just the majority. A Deconstruction Solution could be your single biggest opportunity to save financial assets for your project and physical assets for others.
  8. Take advantage of tax breaks available to those that donate to organizations such as Deconstruction & Reuse Network, and/or Habitat for Humanity.
  9. Stay involved. This doesn’t mean micro managing your contractor. But remember – its your project and therefore your rules.
  10. Be A Community Leader – tell your friends about your recycling initiatives and encourage the same – Help your neighbors to Think Outside the Roll-Off!

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Thursday, May 22, 2008


Last FIVE tips for Improving your Recycling & Reuse Efforts:

6. As a builder, add signage to your job site as your permanent recycling strategy: What does and doesn’t go in the roll-off; cans go here, bottles here, scrap metal here, food waste here, etc.
7. As a general contractor, try integrating your waste management practices into selling your services. This shows attention to detail and will win you projects as you set yourself apart from other builders.
8. Assign one individual in the company and one individual on every job site that is responsible for implementing your waste management plan.
9. Offer a Deconstruction Solution whenever remotely possible. Forego traditional demolition at every opportunity. (NOTE: Just because the first client passes on deconstruction, don’t stop offering. Currently, one in three people who are given the lead time to consider a Deconstruction Solution, choose it.)
10. Think Outside the Roll-Off! Remember the savings and good things that can be achieved by donating to organization such as Deconstruction/ReUse Network, Habitat for Humanity, and Corazon.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Here of five of my Top 10 Tips for improving your recycling and reuse efforts now:

1. Become a ReUse Network Member Architect or Member Builder and we’ll keep you current on user-friendly solutions and frequent updates about industry practices, resources and legislation.
2. Question your current business habits and prejudices about what can and cannot be reused and what you can influence.
3. As a professional architect, builder, project manager, estimator, etc; ask yourself, whether you’re really taking the lead and going the extra mile in influencing diversion and environmental practices.
4. Design a permanent diversion management strategy (architects not excluded) for your operation. Employ it even if you’re not working in a jurisdiction that requires an official Waste Management Plan, like the City of Santa Monica does.
5. As an architect, know that you’re in a leading position to influence clients and job site practices. Refer clients to general contractors you know always employ solid waste diversion practices on their job sites and remind clients to interview builders about this aspect of their operation.

Coming tomorrow: Part II

Deconstruction And Buildingmaterials Reuse Network Inc