Sustainable Management of C&D Materials

Construction and demolition materials, often known as C&D materials, consist of the basic products used to create residences, buildings, and structures. These materials are used during the construction process, which subsequently means they will have to be broken apart during the demolition phase. 

The result is that such materials will need to be properly disposed of. Quite often during the construction process, materials will be leftover and not used. Such materials include but are not limited to:

  • Asphalt, concrete and bricks or masonry
  • Wood, gypsum, and glass
  • Metal, plastics, and other components

Other components often consist of items salvaged from other projects, such as doors, plumbing, and the like. There are also natural materials that are removed from the property for the purposes of construction, such as soil, trees, stumps, and rocks. 

Amount of C&D Material Debris

In the US alone, the amount of C&D material either created by demolition or leftover from construction is estimated to be 600 million tons each year. This is more than twice the amount of municipal solid waste that is generated. 

It is true that demolition is responsible for around 90% of the C&D material produced. Roughly 455 million tons were reused in some manner with the remaining being sent to landfills. 

Benefits of Reducing C&D Material Disposal

While a considerable amount of C&D material is being reused or repurposed, there are still nearly 145 million tons that are not. The advantages of reducing the amount of material generated are considerable. These include:

  • Fewer disposal facilities
  • Reduce building & demolition expenses
  • Offset environmental impact
  • Reduce use of landfill space 

Creating less overall waste is also beneficial because certain types of waste materials simply cannot be repurposed. By reducing the amount that is generated, more can be repurposed or recycled. This also helps the environment. 

In addition to the cleaner air, land, and waterways, the reduction of C&D materials provides benefits across the board. By focusing on how much C&D materials are used, the construction process can become more efficient and waste less material. For demolition practices, finding ways to properly reuse or repurpose materials leads to greater efficiency, less waste, and more jobs as companies form.

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

For those who are interested in the proper disposal of construction and demolition materials, Brickley Environmental has the knowledge, experience, and equipment to do the job. Over the years, Brickley Environmental has helped many home and business owners dispose of unwanted materials, including those used in construction and demolition. 

Call today and find out more about how Brickley Environmental can help you clean up a construction or demolition site. Contact us today and discover what Brickley Environmental can offer you. 

For more information on sustainable management of construction and demolition materials, click here to visit the EPA website.

COVID-19: Preparing the Workplace

COVID-19

The virus that causes COVID-19 has the potential to cause extensive outbreaks which is leading business owners hesitant to re-open. When reopening an office environment post-pandemic, it is important to follow the guidelines set by the Center for Disease Control to protect your employees, as well as your clients. 

Develop a Disease Preparedness and Response Plan

If one does not already exist, develop an infectious disease preparedness and response plan that can help guide protective actions against COVID-19. Stay educated on guidance from federal, state, local, tribal, and/or territorial health agencies, and consider how to incorporate those recommendations and resources into workplace-specific plans.

Implement COVID Prevention Measures

For most employers, protecting workers will depend on emphasizing basic infection prevention measures. As appropriate, all employers should implement good hygiene and infection control practices. Such practices include frequent handwashing, use of hand sanitizer, wearing a face mask/covering, avoid touching the face, using only your own equipment and sanitizing post-use, and maintaining regular housekeeping. 

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you suspect that your business or workplace may be contaminated with COVID-19, contact the professionals at Brickley Environmental. We have the knowledge and experience to identify and remove viruses.

At Brickley Environmental, we understand the dangers of COVID-19 contamination and what it can do to the health of those living or working on the property.

For more articles on how Brickley Environmental handles COVID-19, please visit this page.

Lead Poisoning Spreading Among California Workers

Of the many issues facing the residents of California, one of the most insidious is the expansion of lead poisoning throughout various businesses and into the surrounding communities. While lead itself is an important metal used in various fields, the side effects of exposure have proven to be quite harmful to adults and children.

The increase in lead poisoning cases results from a combination of poor industrial management and a failure of state agencies to act on the problem, even when informed. Only up until recently has new legislation been introduced, but the damage has already been done.

Cases of Lead Poisoning

In Vernon, California, hundreds of employees at a former Exide battery recycling plant had been exposed to lead poisoning for decades. Unfortunately, state officials knew about this issue but failed to do anything about it. A recent investigation, using data from the California Department of Public Health, revealed that around 80 companies, perhaps more, have exposed their employees to lead poisoning with levels high enough to cause brain disorders, tremors, and birth defects.

Of the different businesses that had issues with lead poisoning, car battery recycling plants were among the worst offenders. In addition to the plants, nearby residential areas have also been contaminated with higher than normal levels of lead in the water system. The Bay Area has experienced a series of issues with lead poisoning, leading to at least 12 cases of employees being exposed during work. In addition, an indoor gun range in Milpitas has experienced at least 25 cases of lead poisoning.

Legislative Action

The Assembly Bill 2963 requires inspections of workplaces where an employee’s level of lead in the bloodstream reaches 25 micrograms per deciliter or higher. The US Centers for Disease Control recommends 10 micrograms per deciliter is enough to cause health issues such as the following;

  • Heart Disease
  • Kidney Disease
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Reduced Fertility

Opposition from industry groups made it tough going, but it did pass the Assembly by one vote. The bill is expected to get through the Senate and become law with the support of Governor Jerry Brown. At the very least, the bill will help state agencies to address the growing issue of lead contamination from various sources and businesses in California.

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you suspect lead poisoning in your home, office, or facility, contact the experts at Brickley Environmental. We offer the best in inspection services that identify lead poisoning, among other contaminants, and offer removal services to clear it from your residence or commercial building.

Hazardous Waste in the Workplace

One of the more serious conditions that business owners face is the presence of hazardous waste in the workplace. If hazardous waste is present, employers must have it removed in a prompt, safe manner which limits exposure to employees. Most businesses have a system in place that processes the removal of hazardous waste. However, there may be circumstances in which some waste is unaccounted for or is present but not readily detected.

Discovery of Hazardous Waste

A business can find itself with hazardous waste on their property for a variety of reasons. One of the more common is when a business purchases the property without the full knowledge of what might be present. Another is older waste that was stored and either forgotten or overlooked when new procedures were introduced. In either situation, the waste can go unaddressed for years.

Whatever the case, it pays for any business that might not have full records of the previous ownership or might have overlooked hazardous waste that was stored on the site to do a full investigation to see if it is present. If hazardous waste is discovered, the company can properly dispose of it with professional assistance.

Worker’s Rights & OSHA

Under OSHA, employees have rights when it comes to the presence of hazardous waste on the property. OSHA oversees all businesses that have hazardous waste present, so there are rules and regulations that need to be followed. Because employees have a right to a safe workplace, the removal of the hazardous waste becomes paramount. There are three steps required by OSHA: identification, information and removal.

Identification: The first step is the proper identification of the waste material and whether it qualifies as hazardous under OSHA rules. Once that is determined, the waste must be removed according to schedule.

Information: Workers do have rights when it comes to keeping their workplace safe, which means that they can file a complaint with OSHA if there is hazardous waste present that is not scheduled for removal and it presents a danger to the employees. Compliance with all rules and regulations concerning hazardous waste must be observed.

Removal: At this point, the hazardous waste must be removed from the property according to OSHA rules. Plus, any complaints that your employees have filed with OSHA regarding the presence of the hazardous waste must be addressed as well. Once it is removed the area where it was kept will be inspected to ensure that any residue is cleaned up so that it does not present a danger.

Once all hazardous waste has been dealt with accordingly, practices should be put into place to ensure that waste oversite does not happen again.

If you think you may have hazardous waste in the workplace, call the professionals as Brickley Environmental. They can provide the services you need to inspect, evaluate, and remove the waste from your property in a prompt, professional manner.