The Impact of Construction Waste
Did you know 100 million tonnes of construction waste is produced by the construction sector each year? Construction waste materials also account for 20% of the UK’s ecological footprint and 19% of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions With so much waste and the potential to have such a big impact on the environment, it is important for those operating in the construction industry sector to work in an environmentally responsible manner. This includes reducing construction waste by reusing and recycling materials, and taking responsibility for them throughout your project and beyond.
Reducing construction waste doesn't just benefit the environment – it also benefits you as a company, as well as your client. Read on to find out why you should reduce your waste, and how to go about it.
Why You Should Reduce Construction Waste
There are several benefits to you for reducing waste on your construction site, including:
- Reducing construction costs
Waste disposal costs and costs for new materials could be significantly reduced if you repurpose your waste instead of throwing it away. By achieving good practices, implementing design changes and reusing materials you could make each project more cost-effective.
- Ensuring regulatory compliance
As explained in a previous blog post, as part of your Waste Duty of Care you are legally responsible for ensuring your waste is managed correctly all the way through from your possession of it to its disposal or recovery, even after you’ve handed it over to another waste holder. Find out more information about the waste holder Code of Practice and your responsibilities. Some projects also require site waste management plans to comply with BREEAM assessments.
- Maintaining your reputation
Clients and stakeholders will appreciate your dedication to being ethical and eco-friendly, and they could also benefit from the more cost-effective and efficient practices associated with waste management. Living up to these eco-friendly values will stand you in good stead with potential clients, giving you a good reputation within the industry.
How You Can Reduce Waste
There are many ways in which you can reduce waste during a construction project, including but not limited to:
- Develop A Site Waste Management Plan
A site waste management plan can help you to plan and record how your waste is managed, who is responsible for it, how it will be measured and disposed of, and more. Our blog post on SWMPs describes the benefits and steps for getting started in more detail.
- Get Involved At Design Stage
A good way to reduce waste right from the start is to get involved with a project at the design stage and design out waste. By getting the design right you can minimise waste, meaning you will have less material to plan around and dispose of at the end of your project.
- Off-site Construction
Some projects will enable you to source materials built off-site, reducing your on-site waste by up to 90%. Factories then have more opportunities to reuse or recycle their own waste.
- Pre-demolition Audit
Carrying out a pre-demolition audit can help you to identify any materials that could be reused for your current or future projects. Find out more about pre-demolition audits.
- Get Expert Help
If you would like help with creating a site waste management plan, or any other aspect of managing or reducing your waste, contact WPS on 01604 859961 or contact us using the form on the right. Our friendly and professional team will be happy to give you expert advice.