Key managerial measures contributing to construction waste reduction: evidence from construction projects in Ghana

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Ghana is overwhelmed with high wastage levels and this is very evident in the sites and communities in the country. Research has shown that, the construction industry plays a significant role in this waste generation. Therefore, the aim of the study is to ascertain the key managerial measures contributing to construction waste reduction in Ghana. With this aim, three (3) objectives were set which were to identify the causes of wastage on construction sites, to identify the key managerial measures contributing to construction waste reduction in Ghana and to identify the challenges impeding the implementation of the managerial measures to waste reduction in Ghana. Establishing the objectives led to the extensive review of literature and subsequently, developing a structured questionnaire to aid in the collection of data from the respondents. Using the convenient non-probability sampling technique, fifty-one (51) questionnaires were retrieved for the analysis. The data were analyzed using RII. With the first objective, poor site management ranked as the most significant cause of wastage on construction sites. A study conducted stated that, waste can occur due to poor construction management on construction sites. Poor planning and scheduling by the contractor were ranked second. Poor planning by the contractor was also identified the most significant cause of waste generation in the construction. Overproduction was ranked third. Overproduction is also a different type of waste which can be associated with over-use of materials and excess input of energy by employees into production. With the second objective, effective supervision was ranked as the most applicable strategy. Supervision is the general direction, coordination and oversight of the processes of a project on-site. Reduce, reuse, recycle was ranked as the second most applicable strategy. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle is a common assertion made in general waste management processes in the construction industry. Development of waste management plan was ranked as the third most applicable strategy. The development of a plan for waste management is also a vital tool in waste reduction. With the third objective, the most severe challenge was inexperience of the contractor. This was followed by lack of funds and time constraints. Lack of experience on the side of the contractor is a significant challenge in the effective implementation of waste management strategies. With these findings, it was recommended that, for public projects, bidders should submit their methods of minimizing waste as part of bid requirements and any bidder who fails to do so can be deemed not responsive. Also, construction firms should enact strict procedures towards waste reduction during the execution of a project. Lastly, construction firms should educate their work personnel on effective ways of waste minimization. This study was limited to only construction firms operating in the Accra metropolis. Further studies can expand the scope to include other areas in the country. The study was also limited to waste generated at the construction phase of project execution. Further studies can expand to include other phase of the construction process. There is also an avenue to study the impact of contactor’s waste management strategies on construction project performance.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Construction Technology and Management, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Award of Master of Science.
Construction, Waste, Managerial, Measures, Project, Management.