This content was archived on 21 Feb 2015.

Waste Stream Colour Coding

Waste stream colour coding has been identified by the Construction Industry as an integral part in raising Waste Awareness, separating waste at the source, reducing the amount of construction waste sent to landfill, and providing cost savings to construction companies.

"As a country, we are embarking on a massive thrust to increase recycling rates and all sectors must play their part. This is particularly true of construction, which in tonnage terms accounts for around a quarter of all waste produced. Standard coding is vital so that in time everyone on-site will react subconsciously to a colour and symbol on a skip and only placing in it what the colour suggests it should contain. Result: Automatic segregation, and improved quality of material recovered." - Peter Gerstrom, Chairman, ICE Waste Management Board.

An Industry led, generic colour coding scheme has been developed by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) for use in the Construction Industry.

The colours shown below were chosen because they will stand out clearly on-site. The use of internationally recognised safety colours were chosen where appropriate to keep things globally consistent:

  • Orange = Hazardous
  • Red = Asbestos
  • Yellow = Clinical

In addition to these colours, each of the symbols incorporate hatchings that you will see on any building plan around the globe.

Waste Stream Colour Codes

  • White: Gypsum
  • Grey: Inert
  • Black: Mixed
  • Blue: Metal
  • Green: Wood
  • Brown: Packaging
  • Orange: Hazardous