Superior rubble chutes can take a ton

Construction site rubble chutes have a lot to deal with – more than domestic rubbish chutes typically have to handle, for sure.

Whereas residential rubbish disposal chutes might not normally take more than the contents of a kitchen bin, construction site rubble chutes may have to safely transport broken masonry, chunks of concrete and other heavy items.

It’s important that high-level building waste chutes carry this kind of waste safely to ground level, without it escaping at an intermediate level, and without the risk of breaking or bringing down the rubble chute itself.

For this reason, high-level building waste chutes need to be highly resistant to cracking and abrasion, which is why all of our construction chutes are made of high-density polyethylene, physically strong against rough or sharp objects passing down the chute, and environmentally strong against cracking in extreme heat.

Despite this strength, each section is actually half the weight of some construction chutes made of inferior materials – so each interlocking chute section adds just 8kg to the total, rather than up to 15kg as is sometimes the case.

Sections have permanent chain fixings rated to support up to 1,000kg of chute sections and waste combined, with sturdy steel brackets to hold them in place.

A slight taper gives each chute section a conical shape, from 500mm down to 400mm; this allows them to interlock into a single high-level chute with a familiar snake-like structure, as well as keeping waste materials safely inside the chute at section joints.

Side hoppers for intermediate levels mean materials can be added at any elevation along the rubble chute’s length, without running the risk of waste from above escaping out of the entry hole.

And with easy erection either by hand or by winch, you can have your rubbish disposal chute up and ready to use within a matter of minutes, with confidence that it is safely and securely constructed.

Stay safe with building site rubbish chute accessories

Building site rubbish chute accessories can help to make your construction waste chute even more convenient to use, and can also help to ensure site safety.

A construction waste chute alone is already a step towards a safer building site, providing a visible and contained way for unwanted materials to be dropped into a skip at ground level.

There are certain examples of good practice you can use to make sure your rubbish chute works at its best – such as moving the lower end to an empty part of the skip from time to time, and avoiding putting long, thin objects into the chute that could turn and get stuck on their way down.

But building site rubbish chute accessories help to reinforce this even further by providing you with equipment specifically designed to overcome certain obstacles.

For instance, make sure you have a suitable support frame to hold the top hopper at roof level, and a winch system – complete with spreader bar, which helps to balance the load on the winch, and must not be left out from your setup.

If you use side hopper rubbish chutes, and want a stronger point of entry for waste at the intermediate levels, we can supply bespoke reinforced rubbish chute Y-sections to take materials into the main chute more safely.

These are not the only reinforced rubbish chute sections we can supply – if you need a building site rubbish chute reinforced along all or part of its main length, get in touch to find out how we can help.

Remember to make sure you have a way to ‘steer’ the bottom of your chute, such as a rope to move it around the skip as it fills, as this will allow you to keep it free from debris.

And finally, place a tarpaulin or similar around the bottom of the chute to keep any clouds of dust to a minimum, and make sure nobody gets too close to it when waste materials are on their way down.

Builder charged for lack of rubbish chutes and edge protection

The director of a Coalville construction company has been sentenced for failing to use edge protection when working on a fifth-storey project, as well as simply throwing sacks of rubble from the fifth-floor window instead of using rubbish chutes or safely carrying the sacks to ground.

When the incident occurred, on October 2nd 2014, it was the police who called the Health & Safety Executive – as the building being worked on was directly opposite a police station in Leicester.

Inspectors arrived to find rubble was being thrown in sacks a height of several metres, and was landing not on the ground, but on a flat roof below; the builders had begun by carrying the sacks down to the roof level and then dropping them over its edge, but had switched to simply throwing them from a fifth-floor open window.

What’s more, the window was not guarded by edge protection, increasing the likelihood that the momentum of throwing one of the sacks might have carried a worker forward and over the edge, facing a fall of several metres on to the flat roof.

Inspectors were also concerned about the risk posed by the falling rubble itself which, without being contained within appropriate rubbish chutes, could potentially have landed on passers-by.

The refurbishment work had commenced without the proper paperwork being completed – including assessments of the risk that asbestos might be present in the materials being removed, and instructions to the workers involved on how the required demolition work should be undertaken.

HSE inspector Sarah Hill said: “It’s completely unacceptable for anyone to work at open edges with no fall protection.

“There was a possibility of a fall, the consequences of which could have led to people being seriously injured or killed. Additionally, there were real concerns for public safety from falling materials.”

Providing safe access to construction site rubbish chutes

Rubbish chutes are an important way to carry all kinds of waste from building sites to ground level – with colour-coded chutes allowing recyclable waste to be sorted and separated as you go along.

But using rubbish chutes safely requires some caution in itself, as you do not want to put workers at risk of falling from a roof or scaffold while reaching over to drop waste materials into the chute.

Side-loading chutes are one way to reduce this risk, as they allow items to be placed into the chute from the side, rather than reaching out over the top of the pipe; they can also allow objects to be put into the chute from any level on a multi-storey site.

Guardrails can provide edge protection either side of the chute, so individuals and any loose materials or tools cannot fall over the edge.

And if there are any further doubts, man anchors can tether individuals to within a safe perimeter, providing an extra fall prevention measure.

By combining these with safe access systems like safety ladders, you can protect your employees from the moment their foot leaves the ground, until the day’s work is done.

Apprentice death shows life-saving value of rubbish chutes and edge protection

The death of a 16-year-old apprentice has highlighted how rubbish chutes can not only carry waste materials safely to the ground; they can combine with edge protection to prevent fatal falls, too.

In the incident, which this month saw the youth’s employer fined £325,000, the teenager was working on an extension to a property in Camden Road, Leytonstone.

He was told to drop some rubbish into a ground-level skip – a practice known in the trade as ‘bombing’, when sacks of waste are simply thrown from the side of scaffolding.

To get to a position above the skip, he had to make his way across the flat roof of the extension, and down the pitched roof of the house.

From there, with no rubbish chutes in place, he threw the sack of rubble over the edge and into the skip, but then fell after it, sustaining fatal head injuries.

The incident highlights the importance of handling waste materials carefully to carry them safely to the ground.

But it also serves as a reminder that edge protection is an essential safety precaution at all times when working at height – even when objects are deliberately being dropped from a roof edge.

Rubbish chutes can help on-site sorting of recyclable solar panels

We’ve touched on the use of rubbish chutes to sort materials on-site in the past, with different coloured chutes able to carry different substances safely to ground level – with benefits including the ability to streamline your sorting of recyclable materials.

This could be particularly useful in the years ahead, as the National Federation of Roofing Contractors reports that solar panels will be subject to WEEE regulations from 2014 onwards.

In turn, companies that install, remove or replace solar panels may face new obligations in terms of how they dispose of the waste panels.

This does not have to be burdensome; as much as 80% of an ordinary solar panel is glass anyway, and can be recycled in much the same way as a window pane or other waste glass.

Of the remainder, a large proportion is likely to be metal contained within the supporting frame, again with familiar and straightforward options for collection and recycling.

Rubbish chutes can carry parts of broken solar panels to ground level quickly and safely, depositing them in the appropriate sorting bin for collection.

This can be convenient and safe; for instance, if a panel shatters upon removal, the shards of broken glass are quickly removed from the site so the risk of injuries is reduced.

Roof rails and rubbish chutes can show TrustMark commitment

Using roof rails and rubbish chutes on a construction site can allow TrustMark-certified builders to demonstrate their commitment to safety, while protecting employees and members of the public in the process.

The TrustMark scheme allows tradesmen to be recognised for working to a high standard, in line with industry health and safety practices, and adhering to guidance on waste disposal.

For construction firms, roof rails can show that edge protection is a prime concern, while rubbish chutes can transport waste easily to ground level, and allow for the easy separation of recyclable waste too.

TrustMark is likely to become increasingly important, as it has been given an expanded role in the newly launched industrial strategy Construction 2025.

Commenting on the new strategy, Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders, said: “The challenge going forward both for government and the building industry as a whole will be to ensure that consumers are made aware of the benefits of only using TrustMark-accredited tradespeople.”

With 69% of FMB members reporting difficulties in winning public sector contracts in particular, using the kinds of practices that would win TrustMark approval could be one step towards making even the smallest of SMEs more desirable to public and private customers alike.

Rubbish chutes can improve safety and productivity

Rubbish chutes are more than just a convenience for construction sites; they not only help to improve safety, they can also help boost productivity as well.
Installing rubbish chutes makes sure there is a clear route to ground level for waste produced by workers on upper levels and on the roof.
Colour-coded rubbish chutes can help sort recyclable waste from general refuse, helping builders to comply with environmental regulations and reduce the amount sent to landfill or the tip.
In some cases, you could find some of those materials can be sold on – such as scrap metal, for instance – adding a further revenue stream to your construction project.
And there is also the clear benefit of being able to quickly send waste to ground level, keeping the roof free of debris, and without the need for an individual to carry the waste down a ladder, stairs or in a lift.
Together, these numerous advantages make rubbish chutes a valuable addition to any site, as well as a cost-effective way of complying with several different sets of regulations.

Rubbish chutes can enable quick sorting of recyclable materials

Rubbish chutes are an important addition to building sites, allowing waste to be carried quickly and safely to the ground.
However, if you are keen to improve the environmental profile of your firm, rubbish chutes can help you to do so.
Chutes are available in a broad range of different colours, with top hoppers and side hoppers allowing access to them at all levels on your site.
This can enable you to put in place a comprehensive waste-sorting system, with separate chutes for rubble and recyclable waste such as wood or glass, all of which can be sent to ground-level from any height.
In turn, this not only has the potential to improve your environmental profile; it can also relieve the administrative (and physical) burden of sorting through waste later in order to retrieve the recyclable materials.
Of course, having designated rubbish chutes on-site has safety advantages too, especially when compared with the practice of simply dropping waste off the side of a scaffolding rig or roof edge.
Combined with safety ladders, edge protection and walkovers, this makes them a good addition to an all-round approach to site safety.

Rubbish chutes can provide access at multiple levels

We’ve all seen rubbish chutes hanging from the sides of construction projects, carrying rubble and debris down to ground level in a safe and controlled manner.
However, many people might not realise that rubbish chutes can be accessed not only from the top, but also at intervals along their length.
To allow this, all you need to do is include a side hopper where you want an opening into the chute – these are designed so that any falling rubble is contained within the chute itself, but let workers on floors below the top level get rid of their rubbish too.
Up top, a top hopper is the last component in a well designed rubbish chute – unlike a standard component, the top hopper has a flared opening which is designed to capture the rubble that is placed into it.
This reduces the risk of spillage from the sides of the chute’s top opening, keeping your workspace clearer and making sure all of the waste reaches your skip or refuse area at ground level.
By using these different components correctly in combination, you’re provided with a safe and sturdy means of transporting broken bricks and similar substances to the ground, meaning there should be no need for workmen to carry them down in lifts or on ladders.

AKM News / Articles