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Construction waste

A skip filled with builder's rubble

What is construction waste?

Construction waste includes timber, concrete, plasterboard, bricks, asbestos, vegetation, rock and soil. Although most of this waste is generated by the construction and demolition industry, building and renovating homes also contributes.

Why recycle construction waste?

Waste from the construction and demolition industry represents over one third of all waste going to landfill. Over 75% of this is clean, excavated material, such as concrete, bricks and timber which can often be recycled. At an individual level you can reduce and recycle construction waste when you build a home or renovate an existing property.

Recycle construction waste to:

  • minimise the amount of raw materials extracted from the environment
  • minimise air and water pollution as a result of the extraction and processing of raw materials
  • reduce landfill.

How to recycle construction waste

Reduce

When building only order what you need. When renovating only replace what you need to replace.

Reuse

Reuse, sell, swap or give away building products wherever possible. With demand for vintage products there are many people looking to reuse pieces from older-style homes.

Recycle

Items that can not be reused should be recycled or disposed of correctly:

  • Safely dispose of hazardous chemicals and materials through our Detox your Home program
  • Ask your builder about waste minimisation strategy and documentation. Victoria has 'towards zero' waste strategy documents which set state-wide targets for waste reduction, resource recovery and littering
  • Items that are too big for your kerbside waste and recycling bins can be disposed of through hard rubbish waste collection

The Environment Protection Authority provides further advice about construction waste

What happens to recycled construction waste?

The way construction waste is recycled depends on the materials within each item. Find out more about household waste and recycling for different materials. The way your hard rubbish is processed will also vary from council to council. Contact your council to confirm which items are recycled.


Detox your Home logo over a photo of discarded plastic bottles

Detox your Home

Rid your home of dangerous and toxic waste responsibly, with the free Detox your Home program.

Read more


Panorama of Yarra Glen amongst green fields of the Yarra Valley

Council waste and recycling

Household paint, batteries and fluorescent lights can be dropped off for free. Check with your local council for details.

Find your council