Construction Law

Waste Management Provisions for Construction Contracts Part 2 featured image

Waste Management Provisions for Construction Contracts Part 2

In part one of this two-part series, the Nashville contractor lawyers at Cotney Construction Law discussed the importance of representing waste reduction requirements in your contract. Additionally, we detailed the information that contractors should include when submitting a construction and demolition (C&D) waste management plan.

Now, a Nashville contractor lawyer will continue to address the procedures contractors should implement throughout the project to ensure that their C&D waste management plan is being put into action. We will finish this series by noting some important definitions that may be included in your construction contracts.

Tips for Implementing Your C&D Waste Management Plan

As a contractor, you should document the performance of your C&D waste management plan throughout the lifespan of your project. Even if the owner doesn’t request that you provide progress reports, keeping a written record of your diversion rates and related costs can help you avoid a headache down the line.

Another important precaution you should take to avoid a potential dispute with the owner is to incorporate the waste management plan into your quality control plan. This helps verify that these processes are being put into action throughout the project. Some owners may withhold progress payments until you submit diversion performance reports, so you need to be absolutely certain that you are in touch with the material recovery facility operator processing your waste.

In most cases, the owner will vest title to debris and waste materials to the contractor, thereby allowing you to reap the economic benefits of proper waste management. This allows you to generate additional profits through diversion. With that being said, make sure that the cost of diversion doesn’t exceed the cost of implementing your waste management plan.

Important Definitions

Always consult a Nashville contractor attorney to review your contracts before signing on the dotted line. An attorney can help you understand contracts that use terminology you aren’t familiar with, especially in regards to waste management, including:

  • Commingle: mixing unrelated materials together inside a container. Commingling waste creates problems for recovery and diversion efforts.
  • Disposal: regulated by RCRA Subtitle D (or Subtitle C, 40 CFR for hazardous waste), disposal is the act of unloading waste into a solid waste disposal facility.
  • Diversion: eliminating or minimizing waste through processes that keep waste from being disposed of in landfills.
  • Diversion Report: a report by a material recovery facility operator detailing the types and amounts (short-ton units) of various materials being submitted for diversion.
  • LEED: green building certification system widely recognized as the international standard. Considers metrics like energy savings, water efficiency, CO2  emissions reduction, and more.
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA): enacted in 1976 to amend the Solid Waste Disposal Act of 1965. Today, it remains the principal law governing the proper disposal of solid waste and hazardous waste in the United States.
  • Source Separation: the process of identifying and separating unrelated waste at the first opportunity to streamline the waste management process and avoid commingling. Source separation can create other challenges for inexperienced contractors.

If you would like to speak with one of our Nashville contractor attorneys, please contact us today.


Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.