Waste Recycling

Waste Recycling

Diverts material from going to the landfill. As waste recycling coordinator positions continue to evolve with the green building industry, there is a lot of opportunity for trade collaboration and coordination between waste recycling and safety supervision. 

Material Handling

If materials are separated at the source of installation, removed without mixing with trash and placed into the proper recycling bin there is less exposure to injury. If materials get mixed onsite it means more time is spent separating materials down at the recycling bin which puts workers at a greater risk of injury. If the site is limited on space and does not have room for source separated bins, commingled recycling bins can reduce time spent handling materials. If the commingled bins are not contaminated with trash there will be no need for people to enter the dumpster to sort out materials that should not be in the bin. If materials are big and heavy use the proper equipment to get them into the bin rather than trying to overexert yourself by placing them in by hand. Proactive material handling is key to a safe recycling effort. 


Added material handling time can lead to overexertion. Some materials are heavy and hard to hoist into the bin. 


If materials do need to be sorted in the bin or the bin needs to be compacted it is important that there is a safe and secure access point for entering the bin and caution is taken for sharp objects that could cause an impalement. If the bins ladder is damaged avoid using it and request a new bin after the next pickup. 

Potential Hazardous Materials

Certain waste materials may contain contaminants that are harmful to employees health. Especially during demolition, it is very important to be aware of what you are handling and how to properly dispose of it. 

Items to Reinforce

  • Clarity on what is recyclable versus what is hazardous waste
  • Safe handling of materials from point of install to recycling bin
  • Keep debris in containers and off floor away from work areas
  • Jobsite signage is clear and consistent throughout jobsite
  • Recycling supports clean jobsites and proper housekeeping
  • Remove debris from the job on a regular basis
  • Place trash barrels where needed to eliminate food rubbish 

Presenter tips

  • Pre-read the Toolbox Talk. Your comfort level and confidence will be higher if you know your topic.
  • Discuss related tasks, work areas or events that make the Toolbox Talk relevant to your job site.
  • Involve the workers by asking questions and input that drives discussion.

Questions for Discussion

  • Where is it located?
  • Which trades may be in a new situation?
  • How is the pick up sequenced?
  • What equipment & materials are involved? How is it communicated & monitored?
  • How is it measured & reported?