Critical Review Of Contemporary Topic Construction Essay

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The construction waste can vary from low risk waste through to hazardous waste. There is legislation for the proper disposal of wastes. Either environment agency or local authorities enforce these laws. If the waste is not properly managed throughout the project it can present a real safety hazard to workers in site. Two things to be remembered in mind for waste management

How-Waste produced in each phase of construction is managed in a timely and effective way.

Who-Is responsible for the collection and proper disposal of waste that is produced in site?

The hierarchy for the construction waste management can be explained with the following figure.

The most favoured option is the reduction of waste produced it is not possible in any type of construction. Then comes the reuse of materials in this anything and everything that can be reused should be taken and properly used in same project or in any other project. For example bricks it can be crushed and laid as the foundation layer of pavement. Then the recovery phase in this the recycling of waste is done if it's possible if energy can be extracted from the

waste that is also done in this phase. The least favoured is the disposal if the materials cannot be reused or recycled then it goes to disposal. Landfilling is one of the methods of disposing.


For the effective waste management there should be a Site Waste Management Plan (SWMP).This is a practical tool for the waste management in construction. The site waste management needs to be done accordingly with SWMP regulation 2008.if this is not done accordingly there will be penalty for offenders. The main reason for project need to produce SWMP is that it will ensure that the waste management for client is managed in an appropriate way.

The benefits of SWMP

Better use of materials and products.

Minimise the amount of waste produced.

Valuable materials can be recovered.

Cost saving of materials by selling the old materials or using them in projects.

If the client is having little knowledge or experience about construction then the assistance can be given by appointing a coordinator who will assist and help the client in waste management at site.

How a coordinator can help the client

Make aware the client how SWMP can benefit the project(includes cost benefits environmental benefits and health and safety benefits)

How to prepare a proper waste management plan

Periodic inspection of site waste management plan

Make changes in SWMP if it needs


An effective Site Waste Management Plan will benefit and add value to construction projects. There are three types of benefits from an effective waste management plan. They are


The cost benefits includes

Reduce the amount of waste

Separation of waste which can be recycled, reused and recovered

Taxes on landfill get reduced since the amount of landfill required is less after separation of all wastes

Considerable reduction in transportation cost and storage cost of waste materials

Reducing the risk of over ordering the new materials so cost of new materials can be reduced

Achieving cost saving by reusing the materials in same site or recovering some monetary value by selling them


In terms of health and safety also SWMP have some benefits which are as follows

A effective SWMP will reduce the amount of hazardous waste and its transportation thereby reducing the risk to public while transportation

Vermin and associated disease risk are reduced e.g. rats and leptospirosis

SWMP will fulfil all requirements of quality and environmental management systems

Better control on materials and waste in site


The main environmental benefits are

Urban decay can be reduced since most of the wastes are filled in urban areas where the land is owned by local authority

Work in pace with environmental legislation

Carbon that are emitted during incineration process is reduced

The rate of depletion of natural resource can be reduced since the amount of landfill is less

Landfill requirements can be reduced

Rate of pollution can be reduced

The practical waste management scheme at the site can explained from the flowchart provided. 'The people who produce waste or handle waste in any form i.e. construction or demolition are legally responsible for its safe keeping, transportation and its disposal'. According to Environmental Protection Act 1990 Section 34 and Environmental Protection Regulation 1991 this 'Waste Duty of Care' is a legal requirement. Commercial, industrial and domestic wastes are classified as controlled waste. The main aim of this duty of care is that it should ensure that any one who uses the controlled wastes should manage the wastes properly, dispose it properly, which does not cause pollution and hazard to human health and the waste should be transferred to authorised personnel only. In most cases the clients need assistance for waste management.

According to regulation 6(5) of Waste Management Plans Regulations 2008 what is required in this waste duty of care is referred as:

The Site Waste Management Plan contains a declaration by Client and Principal Contractor that they will take responsible steps to ensure that all waste is dealt with in accordance with the Waste Duty of Care in section 34 of Environmental Protection Act of 1990 and Environmental Protection Regulation 1991.

Materials will be handled and waste managed properly.


Materials used in same site after treatment

Materials used in same site with out treatment

Materials that will remain in site

Undertake a construction activity and generate waste

Removed from site

Retained on site

Materials that are disposed off

Materials used in another site which requires treatment from outside plan

Materials used in same site after the treatment from outside plant

Inert waste

Non hazardous waste

Materials that cannot be used in site or elsewhere

Materials that can be used in another site without treatment

Hazardous waste


From the conception stage onwards the waste management aspect of the project should be considered. The client and the contractor should be well aware of what types of wastes are generated during the construction and how it is treated. According to the legislation of United Kingdom every construction project should have a SWMP. If the waste generated in each phase of construction is not treated properly according to rules and regulations of Site Waste Management Plans Regulation 2008 there will be penalties for the offenders.

The figure below shows that how a site waste management plan can be planned from preconstruction stage to post completion.

So it's clear that waste management does not comes only in construction the site waste management plans should also be consider efficiently and given proper importance. The legal aspects of site waste management plan are as follows:


The client must appointment a contractor as principal contractor who intends to use one or more contractors for the construction project. All obligations on the principal contractor regarding this regulation are carried by the client if he fails to appoint a principal contractor. The appointment of a principal contractor not only reduces the work of the client but also makes sure that all contractors under this project are doing their duty properly. If the principal contractor fails to do his responsibilities regarding these regulations it will be considered as an offense.


Any client who wishes to carry out any construction work whose estimate is more than £300,000 excluding vat should prepare the site waste management plan according to regulations before the construction. Accepted tender price can be used as the cost for this and if there is no tender document cost of labour plant materials and profit can be considered as cost. If without the site waste management plans the project is started the client and principal contractor are both guilty of an offence. Example of SWMP data sheet is provided in appendix A.1.


Waste management plan should identify who the client is, who drafted the site waste management plan and who is the principal contractor? It should describe the estimated cost of the project, the location of site and what type of construction is it. All decision that was taken before the drafting of SWMP should be recorded in that. It must contain the details of types of waste that may be generated in different stages of construction.It should contain the estimated amount of waste generated and what are the waste management plans proposed for each type of waste including reusing, recycling, recovery and disposal. There should be a declaration that the principal contractor and client will take all necessary steps to ensure that all waste dealt with accordance of waste duty of care in section 34 of Environmental Protection Act 1990(a) and Environmental Protection Regulation 1991(b).


The waste management plan should be kept in site office and if there is no site office it should be kept at site itself the principal contractor is responsible for that. The waste management plan should be available for any contractor who carries the described work and each contractor should know where waste management plan is kept it is the duty of principal contractor to ensure this. It will be considered as an offence if the principal contractor fails to ensure these regulations.


The site waste management plan should be kept at principal contractor's place of work or at the site of project for two years after the completion of project. It will also be considered as an offence if the principal contractor fails to comply with this regulation. If the principal contractor makes any false or misleading statement in site waste management plan it will also be considered as an offence.


Under these regulations if any person found to be guilty is liable for a fine not exceeding £50,000 or on conviction to a fine. If the offence under these regulations is proven to be committed by a body of corporates with the consent of any director, secretary, any other similar person of the corporate body that person as well as the corporate body is guilty of offence.


The environmental agency local government area with principal authority or any country council, in city of London it's the common council can enforce these regulations. An officer of local authority authorised to enforce these regulation has all the powers of an officer of environmental agency under section 108 of Environment Act 1995(a).


By considering the entire above points site waste management plan is mandatory for all types of construction project. And the client should appoint principal contractor for this if site waste management is not done according to legislation it will impose penalty also. The idea of waste management should be considered from the preconstruction stage to post construction stage. While analysing the legal implications such as penalty it's always preferable to prepare a site waste management plan. The legal implications also should be considered while considering the waste management scheme. Apart from the legal implication there are some ecological benefits also for site waste management. The cost of construction materials can be reduced considerably it is helpful for the client because there will be reduction in construction cost also. The concept of three R's are satisfied which makes the construction eco-friendly there by reducing the amount of pollution. Now a day's construction the construction doesn't depend on quality of construction or cost of construction it may depend on how much impact does a construction gives to environment also. The client should be aware of all the requirements for waste management so that he can maintain all construction works according to government rules and an effective site management plan effective use of materials are possible. Both client and principal contractor should refine and revise the site management plan if necessary. Communication part is so important in a waste management scheme the client contractor and if there is any other contractor and person who transport waste everyone should have a good communication management. By keeping the proper records client can meet the regulatory requirements and can present the accurate picture of their requirement to contractors. Both client and contractor should know about the nature of wastes generated.


As a conclusion it can be stated that the key waste management requirements that a client should be aware about is the site waste management plan its benefits how it is beneficial for the project and its legal implications. There is waste generation in any type of construction it cannot be eliminated so what should be done is that it should be treated properly. The client should be well aware that if there is a waste management plan it reduces the risk of construction to a certain extend by the proper disposal, reuse, recycle, transportation of waste generated at site at different phase of construction. The golden rule for any waste management plan is that it should satisfy three R's and disposal of waste. Many materials can be recovered and cost of materials can be reduced by the use of an effective site waste management plan. SWMP saves time and it helps to avoid prosecution. It helps to understand how waste is managed and how can cost be reduced. It enhances the reputation of project and client since the customers can see the project is eco-friendly and client is having some cost benefits also. SWMP helps to improve the future projects also since steps taken for the project can be applied to other sites of same nature. The person who are involved in site waste management other than client are project managers, suppliers, waste managers, architects traders and designers so the responsibility is for all who are part of the construction.


Legislation of UK. The Site Waste Management Plans Regulation 2008. Available:

Last accessed: 21-04-2012

B.A.G Bossink and H.J.H Brouwers, March 1996 'Journal Of Construction Engineering And Management' Construction Waste: Quantification and Source Evaluation.

NHBC Foundation, July 2008, Site Waste Management, 'Guidance and Templates for Effective Site Waste Management Plan', pp 6-8.

Vol 11, Issue 1, 2011, CIOB, Construction Information Quarterly, pp 7-9.