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How to Hit Your Bonus with Waste Management Best Practice

A series of tips to help construction managers hit their targets with sound waste management solutions.

It’s increasingly common for companies to incentivise managers to reduce the cost of construction and demolition waste. But how can construction managers achieve this without specialist expertise? With all the demands of working life, it can be hard to keep your knowledge of waste management solutions up to date, while honing your own skillset. That’s why we’ve put together this series of tips to help you deliver cost efficiencies in the handling of waste on your building project:
Optimise Resource Use Throughout the Supply Chain
Waste management planning starts in the pre-design, design and procurement phases. Whether you’re working on a new build, refurb, fit-out or infrastructure project, there are now easy ways to design out waste and reduce the volumes you deal with during the construction phase.
In fact, the Waste and Resources Action Programme found that it’s possible to increase overall recycling rates by more than 20% by implementing three to four quick wins.
Consider these four elements:
Put a Site Waste Management Plan in Place
Even though Site Waste Management Plans are no longer compulsory, they’re still best practice and promote a positive site culture & no matter how big or small your project.
The SWMP should set out:

Who’s responsible for managing resource associated with waste control

What types of waste the project will generate

How the waste will be managed, e.g. plans for reducing waste destined for landfill and maximising the amount that can be recycled and reused

What your waste management targets are

How you’ll measure waste.

Having an SWMP in place gives you a framework for monitoring waste throughout the project lifecycle and supply chain, helping you stay on target.
Specify recycled materials instead of virgin materials when possible
Take aggregates as an example . If an aggregate is made from an inert waste like sand or bricks, processed in compliance with a BS EN standard and successfully tested in accordance with European standards, it ceases to be classed as waste.
You can reduce project costs when you use recycled material. According to the Federation of Master Builders’ State of Trade Survey for Q2 2016, 65% of firms expect material costs to increase over the next six months. The fall in sterling since the EU referendum has led to more price pressure, particularly for smaller firms. The Federation of Master Builders has also reported evidence of timber and brick costs rising and steel prices increasing by 8% since the Brexit decision.
When you consider the tight margins the whole industry is experiencing, you need effective ways to mitigate against this price inflation. One way to do this is by choosing recycled materials that give you the same quality but with lower unit and total life costs.
Specify Materials that Can Be Reused and Recycled
The EU’s Waste Framework Directive, which was incorporated into UK legislation, set the sector a target of recycling 70% of construction and demolition waste by 2020. This is calculated on the weight of materials reused or recycled.
The UK is ahead of most other EU countries in this regard, but there’s no room for complacency. Given the ongoing Government’s sustainability agenda, targets will likely remain in place whatever the outcome of Brexit negotiations. This means design teams and surveyors must consider how easy it will be to recycle and reuse the materials they specify. For instance, historically the majority of waste plasterboard was sent to landfill. However, certain types of plasterboard can be reprocessed into constituent gypsum and paper parts for use in manufacturing plasterboard, cement, absorbent for liquid spills, dewater agents and more.
Decisions made at design and specification stage therefore make a dramatic difference to the construction phase. Using sustainable alternatives to material that will be sent to landfill helps simplify on-site processes, increase productivity and reduce your tax liability.
Ensure All Contractors Are Briefed on Sustainable Procurement and the SWMP
Once you have your SWMP in place and have specified with recyclability in mind, you need to brief all contractors accordingly.
This ensures that your sustainable specification and procurement decisions filter through the supply chain, and that contractors don’t alter them as the project progresses.
Get the Full Set of Tips for Waste Management Best Practice in our eGuide. Download: How to Hit Your Bonus with Waste Management Best Practice.