Generally, a single construction site involves multiple contractors and subcontractors. This can lead to a great deal of confusion about who is responsible for what. Often, the responsibility of handling environmental issues is not addressed leading to confusion over responsibility for waste management and disposal. A contractor may be responsible for handling environmental issues such as waste disposal although not specifically mentioned in a contract.
Construction can impact the environment in various ways such as land contamination, noise pollution, waste disposal and water discharges. Measures such as restrictions on storage of surplus material, noise limitations, controlling vibration and dust levels may help to curtail environmental impact.
Generally, waste such as rubble, wood products, plaster, metals, and plastic materials associated with construction works end up in landfills. Some of this waste may contain toxins that pose a risk to human health and the environment. Many local governments have passed ordinances that restrict or prohibit the disposal of such debris in landfills and require the recycling of many of these materials.
Construction may lead to ecological concerns as well. The clearing of lands for construction can lead to the loss of wildlife habitats, loss of native plant life, erosion and contamination of soils and water. However, proper design and planning can help reduce these environmental impacts.