The Current Global Situation Construction Essay

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The current global situation suggests that open industrial systems in which insufficient circulation of resources takes place cannot be sustained indefinitely because of the rate at which we consume national resources to produce things which we make use of in our everyday life. The process of producing these things produces a lot of by products which are harmful to the environment and the world population and threatens to create an adverse effect on the eco system. Hence the need for the sustainable use of national resources which have to satisfy the three aspects of sustainability and criteria's namely:

Ecological; reducing the rate in which national resources are used, not being involved in activities that degrade the ecosystem, reducing the rate in which emission are released into the atmosphere, etc.

Economical; companies are able to guarantee the availability of adequate cash flow to ensure liquidity while generating a constant above average return to shareholders.

Social sustainability; companies adding value to the communities they operate by increasing the human capital of individual partners as well as furthering the societal capital of these communities.

The UK faces serious challenges if they are to manage waste produced sustainably. This is important, as it is a vital part in the fight against dangerous climate change. Figure 1 below shows a chart which gives the estimated waste generated in the UK as 330.4 million tonnes between the year 2002/2003 which is about 13.1 million tonnes(4 percent)higher than in 1998/1999 as stated from the office for national statistics UK.

The figure as analysed by DEFRA, environment agency, ONS, shows that mineral waste in 2002/2003 amounted to 128.1 million tonnes whole inert, construction and demolition waste accounted for a further 107.5 million tonnes. Mineral and construction and demolition waste accounted for 71 percent of all UK waste. Construction and demolition waste rose by 21.8millon tonnes between 1998/99 and 2002/03, reflecting the increase in construction activity during the period. This rise was partly offset by a 5.2 million tonne fall in mining and quarrying waste.

The main source of waste are the construction industry, the mining and quarrying industries and UK households, which generated 122.1 million tonnes, 95.9 million tonnes and 30.9 million tonnes respectively. Waste from these three sources accounted for 75% of all UK waste generated in 2002/03.

Figure 1: waste arising by type (source: office for national statistics {online})


The construction industry lags behind many other industries in the effort made to minimise waste produced. However, in other to minimise the production of waste it is essential that all key parties involved in the construction industry have a better understanding of the gains to be achieved from implementing waste minimisation initiatives on projects right from project inception, design to completion stage.

Construction and demolition waste represents roughly 17 percent of total waste production in the UK, making construction industry the largest generator of controlled waste in the country (DETR, 1999). It is estimated that some 70 tonnes of construction and demolition waste annually (environment agency website, 2000). This amount to 24kg per week for every person in the UK, which is about four times the rate of household waste production.

Today, the construction industry is under a lot of pressure to reduce waste by playing its part in a more environmentally sustainable development which arises from the need to respond to the environmental concerns expressed in Agenda 21, the programme for sustainable development in the 21st century agreed at the united nations conference on the environment and development(UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and also in response to the report Building a better quality of life - a strategy for more sustainable construction (DETR, 2000), "which sets down 10 themes for action".

Construction and demolition waste can be considered to be due to three principal sources namely:

Earthwork and excavation; which comprises of about 46 million tonnes


General construction

Most construction waste is generated as a result of the design process and construction. In other to reduce the waste generated attention must be paid to these areas without reducing the quality of the design or the quality of the project.

A comprehensive survey carried out by Symonds for the environment agency with the support of the department of environment, transport and the regions and the national assembly of Wales in 2000 on the amount of construction and demolition waste produced and the way in which it was disposed of in 1999. The result of the survey was as follows:

35% of waste was disposed was recycled (screening and crushing)

13% of waste was disposed of through engineering of landfills

24% of the waste was land-filled as waste.

28% of the waste was spread on sites registered as exempt from waste management licensing (mostly soil).

A reduction in the construction waste produced and an increase in the recycling and reuse will help to reduce the environmental impact the construction industry has on the environment. The implementation of simple and efficient waste management measures has a lot of added advantage both economically and environmentally to the construction industry such as:

Financial benefits arising from a reduction in the wastage of new materials through damage, over-ordering, or through offcuts. The cost of this waste is usually about 10% of the whole project cost. And companies have to pay for the storage and transport to site.

A reduction in the cost of waste disposal from site. Saves cost for disposing of the waste as the amount of waste generated on site is reduced.

Increased salvage value through reclaiming of materials for use on the same site and saves cost which will have been spent in the purchase of new material for the same purpose.

Waste reduction or minimisation reduces the impact it has on the environment and reduces the environmental effect of mining and manufacturing of resources that are wasted.

Good practice of waste minimisation and management can lead to enhancing areas that make a considerable difference to the success of a project such as improving site appearance, site management, reduction to double handling, reduction in time wastage and a reduced damage to critical components.


There is a range of current regulatory and policy drivers governing the management of construction waste all acting at different levels as seen below:



Waste Framework Directive, Landfill Directives


Environmental Protection Act 1990, Town and Compensation Act 1991, Waste Minimisation Act 1998


Environmental Protection (Duty Of Care) Regulations 1991, Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulation, Landfill (England and Wales) Regulation 2002, Pollution Prevention Control, Waste Management Licensing And Exemptions.

Good practice guidance and codes of practice

DEFRA, Regulators, CIRIA, WRAP, ICB etc.

Table 1: list of regulations governing construction waste management (source: DTI strategy for sustainable construction'- consultation events).

These regulations serve as guide lines for any person planning and/ or carrying out construction work to comply with Site Waste Management Plans (SWMPs). The implementation of these plans addresses two key issues which are:

Improving materials resources efficiency through promotion of the economic use of construction materials and method in an effort to reduce waste and enable waste produced to be re-used or recycled before disposal option is considered.

By reducing fly-tipping, through restricting the opportunities available for disposing of waste illegally by ensuring that all waste are accounted for and making sure that they comply to existing legal controls.

Although it is a legal requirement to write and implement a SWMP, the greatest cost savings are likely to be achieved as a result of the consideration of materials resource efficiency which will be a necessary part of the preparation, before the SWMP is drafted The flowchart below shows how this might work during the various stages in a construction project.

Although it's a legal requirement to implement a SWMP, it serves as a means to save cost through the consideration of the material efficiency which is essential in the preparation before an SWMP is drafted. The flow chart below show a resource efficiency approach to using SWMP.




contractor, in

conjunction with all

contractors on site)

􀂃 Regular

toolbox talks

with workers

􀂃 Adequate


delivery, and

storage of


􀂃 Update SWMP

as waste is




contractor and, for

lessons learnt, all


􀂃 Reconcile final

waste data

with SWMP

􀂃 Calculate



􀂃 Apply lessons

learnt for

future projects

Site design and


(client, in conjunction

with designers,

planners and, once

appointed, the

principal contractor)

􀂃 Draft SWMP

identifying waste


􀂃 Record design



􀂃 Build waste


targets into



Conception and


(Client, in

Conjunction with

Designers and


􀂃 Consider



Methods of


That produces

The minimum

Amount of


Figure 2: resource efficiency approach to using SWMPs. (source: DTI strategy for sustainable construction- consultation events {online}).

The requirement to prepare, update and implement a SWMP is set out in the Site Waste Management Plans Regulations 2008 (SI 2008 no.314) which came into effect on 6 April 2008. In accordance with these Regulations any client proposing to carry out a construction project on a site with an estimated cost greater than £300,000 must, before work commences, prepare a SWMP. Under the transitional arrangements, if a project is planned before 6 April 2008 and the construction work begins before 1 July 2008 then the requirement to prepare and implement a plan does not apply.

If the cost of the project is less than £300,000 at the start, but subsequently increases, there is no legal requirement to produce one retrospectively. However, since the SWMP is used as a tool for reducing waste and ensuring compliance with the waste controls, construction companies may find it useful to use the SWMP process to deal with later changes to the project, particularly where it affects the use of materials or handling of waste on-site. The plan must be employed and then updated as construction progresses, with a better level of detail for projects that cost more than £500,000.

All waste transactions must be recorded or referenced in the plan to prevent the likelihood of fly-tipping. Finally, upon completion of the project, the plan is reviewed to record any reason for departure from the planned arrangements. An example Site Waste Management Plan template is provided at Annex A.

A SWMP will need to predict how much of each type of waste will be produced on site and how it will be managed. Decisions taken on the design, construction method and materials that will reduce the amount of waste are recorded in the plan together with the location of the site and the individuals responsible for preparing and implementing it. A summary of the details required in the first draft of the plan is set out below:


The client

The principal contractor

The person who drafted the plan

Description of the Construction Works

The location of the construction site

The estimated cost of the project

Materials Resource Efficiency

6. Any decision taken before the SWMP was drafted to minimise the quantity of waste produced on site.

Waste Management

Describe each waste type anticipated to be produced during the project

For each waste type estimate the quantity of waste that will be produced

For each waste type identify the waste management action proposed (including re-use, recycling, other types of recovery and disposal)

As a minimum the description of waste types should be recorded as inert, nonhazardous or hazardous, with further identification of individual waste streams allowing the proposed waste management route to be determined for each. The European Waste Catalogue system can assist with this process, and a table of the most common waste types generated on construction sites and their EWC codes is provided at Annex B.

In addition to the number of legislations and regulations, other drivers which exist which help in the successful implementation of waste minimisation include:

Client procurement requirements driven by corporate social responsibility (CSR)

Planning authority requirements e.g. Planning Officers' Society (POS) - Local Government Association (LGA) model planning policies; Greater London Association (GLA) supplementary planning guidance.


The target identified in the DTI Sustainable Construction Review October 2006 is zero inert waste to landfill by 2020 with annual reviews to monitor progress.

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) advocates for a greater linkage between the 'materials' and 'waste' subject in order to raise the industry's awareness of the potential for make more efficient use of materials.

Table 2 below highlights the various vision and merits set by the source targets to achieving good practice for construction waste management.

Proposed vision

Source of target

Associated metric

Zero waste to landfill

Dti Sustainable construction review

October 2006

Tones to landfill

Zero net waste (i.e. waste neutral

construction projects)

Waste and Resources Action

Programme (WRAP); Defra review

of England's waste strategy

The proposed benchmark for waste neutral construction is where the value of materials re-used or recycled in a construction project at least equals the value of materials delivered to site that are wasted.

Value is credited for improvements

In recycled content above standard practice and the value of materials re-used and reclaimed for sale.

Value is debited for materials delivered to site but not incorporated into the building fabric, and the cost of disposal to landfill.

Waste neutrality therefore depends

On reducing waste, segregating material for re-use and recycling, and using more recovered material.

Halve CD&E waste to landfill by


Defra review of England's Waste

Strategy, Sustainability Forum &


Tones to landfill

Table 2: proposed vision and metrics (source: DTI strategy for sustainable construction- consultation events {online}).

Rating 0 - 5 (see table 4 for guidance)

Zero waste to landfill by 2020

Halving waste to landfill by 2012

Zero net waste(waste neutral) on construction projects

Established principles/sound science




Widely understood across industry




(Technically) attainable with no risk and no skills shortage




Cost effective




Compelling business case




Strong market pull




Established metric and performance data




Degree of regulation




Table 3: assessment of current awareness and attainment (source: DTI strategy for sustainable construction- consultation events {online}).


Table 4: guidelines for scoring (source: DTI strategy for sustainable construction- consultation events {online}).

Zero net waste has been devised as a tool for evaluating individual projects. Even thou the concept are still being improved on. Of the 91million tonnes of inert waste produced in England and Wales in 2003, 46millions tonnes were reused. Therefore the industry is currently reusing at least 50% of the inert waste materials it produces. This makes the targets set achievable by the appropriate year.

The published UK government target is to increase the recycling of waste produced up to a 100% in a viable economic climate [Source: Dti Review of sustainable construction 2006]. The industry's vision is to see zero waste produced (EA support) which is the primary responsible of the government, designers, developers, clients, manufacturers, WRAP and secondary responsibility of the local authorities and contractors. The set target date for attaining it is 2020 which can only be achieved through legislation, regulations, enforcement, and demolition protocol, taxes, incentives, CSR and raising awareness. This is checked through annual review and progress report.

Other published government / agency targets are stated below:

Defra Review of England's waste strategy: Construction waste stream The review has proposed three targets, two of which are captured in Table 2 above (halving waste to landfill by 2012 and waste neutral construction) the third proposed target is:

Construction clients to include contractual requirements for measurement and enhancement of materials resource efficiency in one-half of construction projects in England over £1million in value by 2009.

Code for Sustainable Homes - a step-change in sustainable home building practice: In December 2006 the Department for Communities and Local Government published The Code for Sustainable Homes as a new national standard that seeks to deliver sustainable building practice for new homes. The code is at present (January 2007) voluntary but considerations are being made by the government to make the code standards compulsory in the future.

Construction waste minimum standard: makes sure there is a site waste management plan in functioning which entails the monitoring of waste generated on site and setting of targets to encourage resource efficiency. The measurement criteria to be used will be to award points for site waste management plans which include procedures and commitment to minimizing waste generated on site in accordance with WRAP/ Envirowise guidance. For this the point awarded will be 0.9. If the plans also include procedures to sort, reuse and recycle construction waste on site or through a licensed external contractor pointed award will be 1.8.



Previous construction practices have shown that construction sites generated a large number of wastes on site due to poor storage, over ordering and sometimes damage which creates an increase in the overall cost of the project due to the added cost of disposal and storage on site. In other to reduce or prevent this from happening it is essential for the following to occur during the whole lifecycle of the project right from inception.


The earlier waste reduction, reuse and recycling are incorporated into a project, the more likely for the waste management scheme to be successful with the project. But this is not the case as most projects do not consider waste management plans into their programme of work for the project which often leads to waste accumulating on site. Therefore, waste management plans must be implemented at the earliest stage of construction of a project especially during the procurement of the project. In other for the waste minimisation to be achieved a lot of factors have to be analysed to ensure that the right resources are used for the project which will minimise waste generated. A list of these factors is given below:

Think about the resource use early in the project; this is usually done by the client as he sets the scene for resource use in the project and plays a major role together with the designer in determining the design parameters for the project and discussing on the resource use before the design work is contracted.

Encourage project team communication: this can be done through regular meetings with all stakeholders involved in the project where responsibilities for waste minimisation measures are assigned to the individual parties (designers, client, contractors and suppliers) and also for there to be proper planning of waste minimisation initiatives so that success, problems and solutions can be proffered.

Conducting a project waste review: this is done by carrying out a review of the amount of waste that will generated on site and identifying means through which it can be managed and minimised before the project starts.


In other to achieve this, it is necessary that clients offer support and motivation for designers to understand that waste minimization is a vital and valued part of the project and work accordingly within the construction (design and management) regulations 1994 with that in mind. For this to be realized it is essential that the client does the following:

Choose a designer with experience of including waste minimization measures in project development.

Introduce specific materials and waste management clauses in contract with designers.

Set a clear brief for designers by outlining a detailed scope of how the measures will be implemented in the project.

Investigating into the role the designer plays in waste minimization

Involving the constructors such as contractors in the design process so that their opinion may be gotten on the buildability of the project.

Establish targets to promote the use of reclaimed materials in projects.


The tender process is usually the perfect opportunity for clients to require that possible designers and contractors implement a waste minimization approach in a project through ensuring that:

The clients' vision for construction waste minimization is clearly identified in calling for bids for tenders.

Contracts are awarded to constructors with experience of implementing waste minimisation measures on site.

A clear brief for the constructor is set which outlines the objectives of the waste minimization measures which must be adhered to.


Materials are a major part of the capital investment in any project and wastage of raw materials leads to an increased cost of the project. This wastage often arises as a result of inappropriate storage and handling on site, excess in ordering and unsupervised delivery and unloading of materials. In other to ensure that materials are properly handled on site it essential that;

Site staffs are educated and enlighten on the proper practice in handling material on site and storing them properly such as storing materials in areas that are properly protected from all hazards on site and weather conditions so they are not damaged before use.

``Carry out audits of materials handling and storage practice which will help in bringing the attention of the site manager to good and bad practices and be able to make improvement to be used for future projects.

Distribute the CIRIA site guide, managing materials and components on site (special publication 146, 1998), as a key guide for staff to use on site in material handling and storage.


In the past the construction industry has relied on sending the vast majority of their waste to landfill. However, this attitude is shifting; last year there was an unprecedented reduction (1%) in the proportion of waste being sent to landfill to 20.9m tonnes.

And this trend will have to persist, considering the binding obligations England has under the EU Landfill Directive which states that by 2010, the amount of biodegradable municipal waste diverted to landfill will have to be reduced to 75 % of that produced in 1995, by 2013 this is reduced to 50 %and by 2020 to 35 %.

In other to achieve these targets it is essential for the local authorities to be involved in the program, which resulted in the landfill allowance trading scheme to be established on April 1 2005 to provide them with the flexibility to contribute effectively. The system revolves around transferable allowances which will allow the maximum amount of waste diversion to occur in areas where it is cheapest, and most feasible to do so. This identifies the fact that the diversion costs each waste disposal authority encounters will differ according to their particular situation.

The types of wastes generated during the course of the project are varied and so each of this waste has to be disposed of carefully.  Potential environmental impacts related with the handling and disposal of these waste arising are then assessed. Mitigation measures and good site practices are suggested to be used with reference to the applicable legislation and guidelines which is the waste disposal ordinance (Cap. 354).

The following recommended storage, transportation and disposal measures should be incorporated into the waste management plan to avoid or minimise the effect such waste will have on the environment.

Officially recognized waste hauliers should be used to collect and transport waste to the appropriate disposal points.

Waste should be removed from site in a timely manner

Waste storage areas on site should be properly cleaned and maintained frequently.

Windblown debris and dust should be minimized all through transportation by either covering trucks or transporting waste in enclosed containers.

Waste should be disposed of at licensed waste disposal facilities.

procedures should be developed so ticketing system can be used to facilitate tracking of loads, particularly for chemical waste, and to ensure that illegal disposal of waste does not occur

Maintain records of the quantities of waste generated, recycled and disposed.

Waste disposal should be the final option after all other of using the materials have being considered which is re-use and re-cycling of the waste material.


In appraising the opportunities for re-use or recycled material it is essential that the designer is aware of both the current specifications and of the development of European material specifications, Euronorms, prepared by the comite Europeen de Normalisation (CEN) which is hoped to promote a more flexible approach to considering the use of recycled materials alongside new materials through the adoption of a performance based approach which examines the performance requirement of a product rather that its constituents which allows for the usage of materials which satisfies relevant product requirements.


Plasterboard is made from gypsum processed into a board and usually faced with a paper covering.

The gypsum used in the production of plaster and plasterboard is derived from a number of sources namely:

Natural gypsum which occurs in the form of rock. In England, it is mined at three main points: in Sussex, Lincolnshire, and Yorkshire.

Synthetic Gypsum which is produced as a by-product of a number of industrial processes such as; Flue-gas desulphurisation (FGD) which is emitted from power house stations and is the largest production method of gypsum used in plasterboard manufacture.

Titanogypsum; which is a by-product from the manufacture of titanium dioxide (a whitening agent used in several products from paint to toothpaste).

Phosphogypsum; also a by-product from the manufacture of phosphoric acid and phosphate-based fertilisers.

Fluorogypsum - a by-product from the manufacture of hydrofluoric acid, used in a number of industries including the manufacture of electronic components.

These boards are varied in type depending on the thickness, special properties of the board such as it being fire and moisture resistant, sound insulated or composite boards which are formed from plaster board with insulated layers.

According to information obtained from the WRAP website on plasterboard it is estimated that approximately 3 million tonnes of plasterboard are used in construction in the UK each year. Comprehensive statistics on waste plasterboard arising are still scarce, but it is estimated that some 300,000 tonnes of waste plasterboard are generated each year from new construction activity (largely as offcuts). The amount of plasterboard waste arising from demolition and refurbishment projects is more difficult to quantify, but maybe in the range 500,000 tonnes to more than 1 million tonnes per year. 

The majority of plasterboard waste has traditionally been landfilled, as it had been classified as a non-hazardous inert waste to be disposed of with other wastes.

'However, from July 2005, the EU Landfill Directive required that high sulphate wastes (including plasterboard and other waste gypsum products) are reclassified as non-hazardous non-inert wastes. Implementation of this in the UK (as regulated by the Environment Agency) entails that loads containing any identifiable gypsum based wastes must not be landfilled with biodegradable waste. Gypsum waste must be recovered and recycled wherever possible. Where it is sent to landfill it must be deposited in a separate cell where no biodegradable waste has been accepted.' (WRAP website)

Detailed guidance on the disposal of plasterboard waste, and on the specific concentration level, is available from the Environment Agency.


Plasterboard waste from construction offcuts can be recycled and the gypsum recovered, if free from contamination (debris such as wood and plastic and general soiling) which can be achieved if a large proportion of the waste materials gained on site can be segregated. However, wastes occurring from demolition and refurbishment are much more likely to be contaminated with other materials and hard to separate effectively which makes it harder to recycle.

Recycled plasterboard can all be used to manufacturer new plasterboards through the extraction of the gypsum which leads to a whole new process of producing plasterboard and represents a neat closed-loop recycling solution.  All three plasterboard manufacturers in the UK are involved in this are involved in this process of recycling and re-use which is cost effective and proffers a solution to the option of landfill.

Recycled plasterboard and the extraction of gypsum also have other end users who benefit from the use of the material. More details of this can be obtained in the WRAP 2006 report on Review of plasterboard material flows and barriers to greater use of recycled plasterboard (online).


Table 5 below provides a guide to the amount of gypsum waste which is currently being recycled, the capacity of the current facilities and the potential planned recycling capacity in the future. A comprehensive report on the existing companies involved in the recycling of plasterboard is given in the WRAP 2006 report on Review of plasterboard material flows and barriers to greater use of recycled plasterboard (online).






~ 55

(reported 50% of current capacity)

~ 110

~ 220

(i.e. investigating 2 new plants)


Not known

2 UK warehouses capacity not known

~ 90


~ 10

(reported 0.8 / month)

~ 15

(current plant reported not at full capacity)

~ 45

(i.e. investigating 2 new plants)


~ 6

~ 45

(i.e. investigating 2 new plants)

~ 56


~ 70

~ 175

~ 400

Note: Capacities are estimates calculated on the basis of 1 shift, 5 days per week

Table 4; Summary of current and proposed UK gypsum recycling capacity (source: WRAP 2006)

A more detailed list of companies involved in the recycling of plasterboard can be obtained from the plasterboard recycler directory obtained from the WRAP website.


The key barriers to recycling in the construction industry are as follows:

Educational barriers include: which could be as a result of

Lack of knowledge amongst professionals: Professionals within the industry may feel that they inadequate knowledge on how to minimise waste arising from and increase materials recycling from construction sites.

Site Training: the construction industry includes thousands of skilled and unskilled workers, who are not trained or given good site management waste practice on the proper segregation of construction waste in to the right skips.

Hassle factor: this makes it difficult to monitor the proper placement of waste materials into the right skip on site due to the number of contractors working on a project.

Market barriers include:

Client specification: Unless specific requirement is made by the client for implementation of a waste management and recycling plan, most construction tend to exempt it from their tender documents during tendering process.

Contractual: Since no contractual agreement exist which states that lesser amount of materials can be used than otherwise stated, contractors tend to waste building materials just so that the project can be finished on time.

Architects and Quantity Surveyors (QS) playing safe: The calculations done by Architects and QS provide the construction companies with a bill of quantities to price against. Which is based on the measured quantity of products plus a factor to account for waste etc? Unless this is reduced, the contactor tends to tender a similar amount of the product to site, and results in waste on site.

Financial barriers include:

Economics. The recycling of construction materials depends on quantity, quality, and the inherent value of the waste material. The issues for economy therefore borders on the relative cost and factor of recycling (collection, separation, and transportation), against landfill tipping fees, and transportation. For plasterboard, at present material costs are low and costs of disposal to landfill are low, so there is little economic incentive to segregate and recycle plasterboard waste.

Economics. For high volume low cost materials such as plasterboard it is more economically viable to dispose of material not used on project completion, and make new orders for a new project than to store materials for use on the new project.

Sub-contractors. A contactor brought contracted for a particular job will want to finish their work in the shortest time possible, get paid and leave. Unless they are contractually obliged to recycle their waste they will not worry.

Sector diversity. Due to the diversity in the sector the larger companies are the ones who can implement a waste management plan which is cost effective compared to smaller one who cannot do so. Therefore, both companies have to work hand in hand in making sure that recycling and waste minimization measures that are cost effective are able to be implemented on a project.

Legislative barriers include:

Lack of legislation: Although waste management legislation applies, at present there is no legislation that requires main contractors to recycle the waste materials on their sites. However, The DTI are proposing to make mandatory, Site Waste Management Plans (SWMPs) which is a vital tool for construction companies and their clients, of all sizes, to improve their environmental performance, meet regulatory controls and reduce rising costs of disposing of waste.

Lack of direct action: There is no legislation currently in place to make individuals responsible for their actions on site, with respect to waste management.

Lack of clear policy: existing guidance from the Environment Agency on the Landfill Regulations effectively allows the continuation of co-disposal of plasterboard with other wastes. This does not motivate the construction companies to produce less plasterboard waste or separate them from other waste.



In order for proper management of the project to be achieved good on site practices should be carried out such as:

Placing orders for the exact amount of materials needed for the project

Arranging for on time deliveries to be made to reduce storage and material losses

Considering the recycling and re-use potential of the package used to deliver material to site.

Making sure the storage facility to be used is well secured and weather proof.

Making sure that deliveries which are damaged or incomplete are returned or not accepted at the point of delivery to site.

Consider the use of quality materials and materials which can be recycled.

Making sure that options are available for materials to be used as recycled products.

To make sure the site is always tidy so that material loss and waste are reduced.

Creating awareness and training site workers on the benefits to be gained so they are enlighten.

Separating the different waste generated and using different skips to do this or paying a licensed waste management company to remove waste generated on site.

Abiding to all regulations and guidelines governing the minimization of waste and proper recycle, re-use and disposal of construction waste.

5.2 Waste management plan

In implementing a site waste management plan for this project it essential the nine major steps are adhered to, so that a site waste management plan (SWMP) can be produced for the project.

Step 1 - Identify who should be responsible for producing the SWMP and making sure that it is adhered to - and also ensuring that the person in charge can be identified as different individuals may be responsible during the planning stages and the site-work stages. They must be informed as to what they are responsible for. They must have adequate authority to make certain that others comply with the SWMP.

Step 2 -the types and quantities of waste that will be produced at all stages of the work plan must be identified. (using the form in appendix 1).

Step 3 - Identify waste management options as well as reference to the waste hierarchy, on- and off-site options and pay particular attention to provisions made for identifying and managing any hazardous wastes produced.

Step 4 - Identify waste management sites and contractors for all wastes that involves them and making certain that the contracts are in place, laying emphasis on compliance with legal responsibilities such as the Duty of Care. (using the site data form in appendix 2).

Step 5 - training of in-house and sub-contract staff is necessary to ensure that everyone involved in the project has a better understanding of the requirements of the Site Waste Management Plan.

Step 6 - Plan should be in place for efficient materials and waste handling which should be done early and to consider all constraints of the site and location.

Based upon steps 2-6 develop indicative percentage targets for each disposal or waste stream and record on this on a datasheet.

Step 7 - Measurement of the actual waste and type of waste produced should be carried out which is then compared against the one recorded in the SWMP to make sure you are on track to manage all wastes properly and to learn lessons from the SWMP produced. The figures should be recorded on the datasheet.

Step 8 - Monitor the implementation of the SWMP to make certain that all is going according to plan, and be prepared to update your plan if situations arise that require change.

Step 9 - Review how the SWMP worked at the end of the project and identify learning points for next time - share these with colleagues who may be involved in preparing or using SWMPs so that they can benefit from your experiences also.

You may wish to compare your achieved percentages against your SWMP targets on the datasheet and identify learning points.


Measurement of success of the project plan is achieved through the implementation of an environmental management system (EMS). The various elements of an EMS include:

Environmental review: it gives a detailed assessment of the potential and actual environmental impact of the organisation's activities.

Environmental policy statement: This statement shows the environmental responsibility and commitment, against which the company is willing to be judged

Environmental strategy: it shows the manner in which the organisations environmental policy is converted into practice from theory.

Environmental management system: the system is used to ensure and demonstrate compliance with the stated environmental policies and objectives, it involves all the process for assessing environmental issues and normally contains a feedback system which procedures for continuous improvement.