Tackling Waste

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If you have a look at official statistics on construction waste, we’re doing great here in the UK.  Recovery rates for non-hazardous construction and demolition (C&D) waste are at 89.9% for the UK and are cited at an even more impressive 91.4% for England.  That puts us way ahead of the EC Waste Framework directive target of 70% of C&D waste to be diverted from landfill by 2020 and demonstrates the commitment of the sector to tackling the issue.

As impressive as these figures are, however, we need to be cautious about becoming too complacent too soon. Look a little closer at DEFRA’s statistics and you’ll see that the construction waste figures have not been updated since 2014. Nor do they take account of excavation waste, which is excluded from the data.  All of which creates a feeling that we, perhaps, cannot be certain after all of just what the real picture on construction waste looks like.

For many of the larger main contractors, management of construction waste is targeted and reportable.  They set challenging goals for re-use and recycling and are accountable to their clients for minimising the environmental impact of their projects. Indeed public sector tenders often stipulate a minimum waste recovery requirement.  However, those high standards are not consistent across the industry and, as many in the construction sector struggle with reduced margins and challenging programmes, the cost of recovering waste is onerous.

At Construction Solutions, we have always been committed to disposing of waste responsibly and have ensured that its cost efficient for our business by bringing waste management in house. This means that we can be completely accountable for every item of waste removed from site, providing the data to the main contractor on projects where we’re subcontracting, or to the client where we’re working direct.

Our specialism in structural alterations often means that we’re extending the lifecycle of buildings, reducing the overall environmental impact of the built environment. Our commitment is to carry that philosophy through to everything we do and our in-house waste management is a critical part of that.

Sarah Reay