New action plan to slash construction waste to landfill
Published:  22 June, 2011

LONDON: The Strategic Forum for Construction’s Waste Subgroup has today published its Waste Action Plan, which aims to halve the amount of construction waste going to landfill by 2012. This equates to a saving of 6 million tonnes of construction waste by 2012 against 2008 levels.

The action plan takes a broad approach to the issue of waste created by construction, demolition and excavation (CD&E), and offers guidance on how the quantities of waste going to landfill can be reduced at every stage of the construction process, from design through to demolition.

The plan identifies areas where waste reduction could be improved, from design stage, through to small scale changes, such as ensuring proper storage of materials to prevent wastage. It also emphasises the importance of removing barriers to the reuse of materials, and in many cases ensuring that end markets exist for construction waste products.

The plan examines the full scope of the construction process to identify what could be improved, and includes suggested actions at every step of the supply chain. By identifying as broad a scope of actions and stakeholders as possible, the plan makes it easier to achieve the ambitious targets laid out for itself by the construction industry.

Chairman of the Strategic Forum Waste Subgroup Peter Johnson said: “It’s clear that there is an environmental imperative for us all to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill. With landfill taxes now sky high, cutting the waste we send to landfill can make a real contribution to the bottom line of our industry too.

“This plan shows that with a little forethought, and with the cooperation of organisations across the full supply chain, our target of a 50% cut really is achievable.”

Jane Thornback, coordinator of the Strategic Forum’s Sustainable Construction Task Group, commented: “Following so soon after the Strategic Forum’s Action Plan to cut water usage, today’s plan to halve waste to landfill should leave no one in any doubt as to the construction industry’s commitment to its environmental responsibilities.

“Because this plan is by the industry and for the industry, we know the targets set are achievable and sustainable. Plans like this ensure the complete cooperation of the whole supply chain, and really demonstrate what can be done when industry and government work together through bodies like the Strategic Forum to achieve common targets.

“We look forward to helping the industry cut the amounts of construction waste sent to landfill in the months and years ahead.”

The action plan was developed with the support of WRAP as part of its programme to support the construction industry in delivering improvements in resource efficiency (materials use, waste prevention, reduction in carbon and water impacts). The actions identified in the plan complement the undertakings by signatories of WRAP’s Halving Waste to Landfill Commitment.

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