Construction & Demolition
Waste Management Plans

Female Contractor

Waste Management Plans for construction, renovation and demolition projects are part of a growing movement to better manage materials and create sustainable communities.  Building and demolition activities are integrating "sustainability" or "green" management techniques designed to protect the environment, save resources (including financial resources), and conserve energy to ensure the well being of current and future generations.

Successful Waste Management Plans

A construction or demolition waste management plan does not need to be lengthy or complicated to be effective. Preparing a plan consists of identifying the types of debris that will be generated by the project and identifying how all waste streams will be handled.  A successful waste management plan will contain the following information:

  • Waste recycling, salvage or reuse goals
  • Estimated types and quantities of materials or waste generated from the project site 
  • Proposed and intended disposal methods for these materials
  • Intended procedures for handling the materials or waste
  • Detailed instructions for the subcontractors and laborers on how to separate or collect the materials at the job site

The industry average for waste generated at new construction sites is six pounds per square foot. Most of this waste can be put towards another use, or better yet, be recycled if proper planning is done within the design phase. The primary objective of these plans are to initially reduce the amount of generated construction waste on projects by requiring all subcontractors and material suppliers to limit quantities of materials and packaging to only those necessary for the project itself.

Successful and profitable job-site recycling begins with a Waste Management Plan that diverts materials by recycling, salvaging and reusing.

Where Do I Start?

There are numerous examples of construction and demolition waste management plans as well as guidelines for creating them. The following examples vary in content, design, form and layout to help you create one that best suits the needs of your particular job. The first group of plans focuses on construction in general, while the second set focuses heavily on construction and demolition and gives special attention on recycling, salvage, and the reuse of materials. While each of these plans is provided as examples there are no limitations as to the design of your plan or the information included within it.

Guidelines to Create, Write and Format a Successful Waste Management Plan

Construction Waste Management Guidelines This site has information on the benefits of C&D management, designing a waste management plan, prevention of waste, etc.  (State of Washington)

Recycling Construction and Demolition Wastes: A Guide for Architects and Contractors (MA DEP)

Construction Waste Management Plan - Administrative and procedural requirements for construction waste management activities.  (King County, WA)

Waste Management Plan A generic template

Construction Waste Management Plan - An example that clearly defines the minimum practices which are to be employed on this job site to assure diversion of construction and demolition waste.  (ClayCo, The Art and Science of Building)

SMARTWaste offers a free tool that has been developed by BRE to help the industry prepare, implement and review solid waste management plans meeting full compliance and legal requirements in the U.K. 

Templates, Charts and Checklists that Offer a Basic and Simple Start to Developing a Detailed Plan.

On the Road to Reuse: Residential Demolition Bid Specification Development Tool  September 2013, (EPA)

Contract Language and Construction Waste Management Plans  (Associated General Contractors of America)

Tools to Help Manage Waste  The information resource section of the above C&D Waste Management Guide  (Montana State University Extension)

Design Specifications and Waste Management Plans (King County, WA)

Construction & Demolition Specifications (WasteCap Resource Solutions)

Steps to Setting Up a Construction Waste Reuse and Recycling Program (Illinois Waste Management and Research Center)

Building Deconstruction Waste Management Plan  (King County, WA)

Reduce/Reuse/Recycle | C&D Management

Disclaimer: The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) maintains the content on this web site to enhance public access to information and facilitate understanding of waste reduction, reuse and recycling. The DEEP is not recommending these resources over any others and recognizes these represent only a partial listing of resources on this subject.

Content Last Updated May 19, 2020