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8 Types of Construction Waste Disposed of After Building Structures

Construction waste is any material generated while building a structure. This may include extra materials, such as scrap metal, leftover building supplies, debris from demolition, and other items that are no longer needed. These materials are often difficult to recycle, and some may be hazardous. 

It is important to identify and classify construction waste to manage it effectively. Various types of waste generated during construction activities must be recognized and divided into distinct categories. Here are eight of them:

1. Concrete, Bricks, Tiles, and Ceramics

Concrete, bricks, tiles, and ceramics that do not contain asbestos are not hazardous and can be disposed of safely. However, if these materials contain hazardous substances, they should be classified as hazardous and not be disposed of in landfills. Additionally, concrete, bricks, tiles, and ceramics that are in mixtures, but do not contain any hazardous substances, can also be disposed of safely. Recycling these materials by crushing them into rubble is also an option.

2. Metallic Waste

Metallic debris from construction projects can include copper, bronze, brass, aluminum, lead, iron and steel, tin, and various combinations of these metals. Most of these materials are non-toxic and can be recycled with relative ease. On the other hand, metals with hazardous components, like cables containing oil or coal tar, are dangerous and require special handling.

3. Cement

Construction projects can cause a substantial amount of waste. This includes unused cement mixture left over when the job is done. It may also include the demolition or rejection of certain parts due to design changes or poor craftsmanship. It is essential to remember that unused or unset cement is highly dangerous.

4. Wood, Glass, and Plastic

The destruction of buildings and other structures often produces a variety of materials, such as wood, glass, and plastic, that can be recycled or reused. If that is not possible, they should be disposed of in a landfill. Examples of common waste from new construction include plywood, chip wood, dimensional lumber, shavings, sawdust, PVC, PVC siding, plumbing pipe, plastic sheet, styrofoam insulation, and glass from windows, doors, skylights, and shelves. While most of these materials are not hazardous, they may sometimes contain hazardous substances.

5. Paints, Varnishes, Adhesives, and Sealants

Remnants of new construction, such as paint, varnish, glue, and sealants, can be hazardous if not disposed of properly. Paint cans, paint thinners, varnish thinners, organic solvents, glue containers, and sealant containers must all be properly discarded to avoid potential hazardous consequences.

6. Insulation and Asbestos Materials

Asbestos is a highly hazardous mineral used in various building materials due to its resistance to corrosion and high heat. These materials include resilient floor tiles, asphalt roofing, thermal pipe insulation, ceiling and wall insulation, sprayed-on fireproofing, asbestos-containing floor backing, and boiler coverings. Inhaling asbestos fibers can cause serious health issues, so it is important never to disturb asbestos-containing materials.

7. Drywall

Much of the material used during building construction is made up of masonry and drywall. After the structure is complete, a great deal of drywall, composed of gypsum wallboard, is often left over. This leftover material can take up a lot of space on the construction site.

8. Dredging Materials

Dredging materials are removed from a construction or demolition site before activities can start. These materials include trees, tree stumps, dirt, rocks, and stumps. They are removed as part of the preparation for the start of the construction or demolition project.


Construction waste on a site can be classified into three main types: hazardous, inert, and recyclable. Hazardous waste can present a real danger to people and the environment, so it must be disposed of safely and responsibly. Inert waste is generally not hazardous, but it is still important to dispose of it properly. By properly managing and disposing of these types of construction waste, a site can reduce its environmental impact and improve its overall sustainability.

WasteWorks USA is a dumpster rental in Birmingham, AL, providing simple, affordable debris and waste removal. We offer a variety of open-top, roll-off dumpsters for rent, including ten-yard, 20-yard, 30-yard, and 40-yard dumpsters. We can deliver right to your door. Once your dumpster is full, give us a call and we will promptly be there to take your debris away.