ARCHIVE: Construction waste
The Government's Waste Strategy for England 2007 identifies the good potential to increase resource efficiency in construction and reduce waste. The construction industry is a major source of waste in England, using the highest tonnage of solid material resources in any sector, over 400 million tonnes. The construction, demolition & excavation (CD&E) sector generates more waste in England than any other sector, and is the largest generator of hazardous waste, around 1.7 million tonnes. By comparison, the sector accounts for 9–10% of GDP. Objectives of the waste strategy for the construction sector include:
- provide the drivers for the sector to improve its economic efficiency by creating less waste from design to demolition
- treat waste as a resource, re-using and recycling more and asking contractors for greater use of recovered material
- improve the economics of the re-use and recycling sector by increasing demand and securing investment in the treatment of waste
Improving resource efficiency in the construction industry
The Strategy for Sustainable Construction is a joint industry and Government initiative intended to promote leadership and behavioural change, as well as delivering benefits to both the construction industry and the wider economy.
- Sustainable Construction Strategy (BERR website)
New Regulations came into force April 2008 making Site waste management plans (SWMP) compulsory for all construction projects in England costing over £300,000. A SWMP records the amount and type of waste produced on a construction site and how it will be reused, recycled or disposed.
The Regulations aim to:
- increase the amount of construction waste that is recovered, re-used and recycled and improve materials resource efficiency
- prevent illegal waste activity by requiring that waste is disposed of appropriately, in accordance with the waste duty of care provisions
The Regulations will not apply to projects planned before 6 April 2008 as long as the construction work begins before 1 July 2008.
- Site Waste Management Plan Regulations 2008 (OPSI website)
- Non-statutory guidance for site waste management plans (April 2008, PDF 150 KB)
- Toolkits available to assist production of a SWMP (PDF 40 KB)
- Cost benefit analsysis for the introduction of SWMPs for the construction and demolition indutry (PDF 700 KB)
- Questions and answers (PDF 15 KB)
Defra supports the development of a voluntary agreement with plasterboard manufacturers to reduce plasterboard waste to landfill from manufacturing operations. WRAP and the Building Research Establishment are working with the remaining elements of the supply chain to agree a sector-level commitment.
Page last modified: 25 February 2009
Page published: 31 January 2008