Making C&D Diversion Work

It’s nearly impossible to believe that for years, General Contractors had only one solution for their debris--the landfill. Today, environmental responsibility is essential for success in the construction industry. Waste Management Sustainability Services specializes in the creation and implementation of diversion programs that support General Contractors (GCs) in setting, understanding, and attaining Construction and Demolition (C&D) diversion goals. In order to balance the environmental and economic demands of a project, a comprehensive solution that includes planning, communication, tracking, and follow up is imperative.

Here are four main factors essential for making C&D diversion work:

1. Construction Waste Management Plan

Creating a Construction Waste Management Plan (CWM) is the first important step in a successful diversion program. This plan will include an outline of the diversion goal, as well as waste prevention plan; it will address communication, education and training; it will identify recyclable materials, and establish non-recyclable handling protocol; and finally it will determine eventual reuse of renewable raw materials.

2. Pre-Construction Meeting

Once the CWM Plan is established, the next critical step is the Pre-Construction Meeting. This meeting lays the foundation for the GC and sub-contractor feedback and buy-in. All parties involved will be able to gauge the support from each of the groups, and agree upon the logistics of how to accomplish the diversion goal. Solutions may include using a co-mingle dumpster, or site separated dumpster to collect C&D recyclable and non-recyclable material.

3. Monthly Tracking

The CWM Plan and logistics require consistent progress tracking to distinguish strengths and weaknesses in the diversion program. The data can also help identify off-site contamination that could delay progress, or even detect commodity pilfering. Waste Management’s internet-based Diversion and Recycling Tracking Tool (DART), allows GCs to benchmark progress and to create customizable reports, allowing quicker data review and project diversion submittal.

4. Follow-up meetings

Follow-up meetings keep the diversion program on track. Waste Management assigns a single point of contact construction representative to provide guidance and resources for GCs through all phases of construction. This expert support person will supply up-to-date knowledge of local disposal regulations and requirements; help keep the project on time and on budget; as well as offer expertise in the Materials and Resources section of LEED® New Construction.

Incorporating the four steps outlined above for C&D projects will not only increase diversion success, it will also ensure the company gets the most out of the construction and demolition materials.

To learn more about how to minimize waste and maximize efficiencies through every phase of construction, contact Waste Management Sustainability Services at 877-441-3046 or visit