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Waste Management Strategies & What SMEs Can Learn from BAM, Galliford Try and McAlpine About Reducing the Cost of Waste

Construction giants such as BAM and McAlpine are confronting the currency fluctuations and broader uncertainties of Brexit with solid waste management strategies that minimise the cost of construction waste

A number of multinationals such as Ford, Nike and Mars have announced that their aggressive waste management solutions are beginning to take root, delivering significant savings.

But such efficiencies aren’t limited to the automotive, fashion and food industries. UK companies in the construction sector are also making moves to reduce waste across their processes. And with cleaner, greener strategies come efficient working methods and less cash flow pressure.

In this blog post, we take a closer look at three companies – BAM, Galliford Try and McAlpine – to see how their UK waste management strategies can be applied to your construction business.

BAM – A waste management strategy takes time

When you generate $33bn annually, you can afford to implement a sweeping waste management strategy. But for the rest of us, change takes time and long-term planning.

BAM’s long-term strategy can be scaled and applied to SMEs. By analysing the amount of materials which their construction projects waste, and examining why building materials were being sent to landfill, BAM has managed to halve the amount of construction waste they produce.

In 2006, BAM created 212 m3 of waste per every £1m it turned over. By 2015, that figure had dropped to 118 m3.

This meant direct savings of more than £10m since BAM integrated waste management solutions into its construction processes – £10m that can now be spent sustaining and growing its business.

And BAM has gone from strength to strength. By 2016, the company was reducing its construction and office waste by 8% year on year – from 161 kilotonnes in 2015 to 148 kilotonnes in 2016.

Galliford Try – Sustainability starts with supply

Major UK construction companies understand that best practice in waste management needs to begin with the supply chain. When Galliford Try audited the way it built homes, the company soon realised that huge amounts of waste could be eliminated by educating people and organisations across the supply chain.

Construction companies pay double for waste. First, they pay to purchase the materials, then they pay to ship the unused or unusable waste to landfill. The solution is clear. By engaging with supply chain partnerships and educating suppliers on how best to transport and store materials, Galliford Try made steady reductions in timber waste.

Galliford Try now wastes only 9% of its building timber.

Sir Robert McAlpine – Waste management doesn’t just save the environment

When companies release information on their waste management strategies in the UK and beyond, they focus on their green credentials, the lessening of their environmental impact, and their commitment to national and international carbon reduction targets.

This overlooks one key effect that waste management solutions will have on your construction business.

It will save you money.

During the development of retail premises in Leeds, McAlpine installed an on-site recycling system which took care of tonnes of concrete waste. It saved 1,300 lorry journeys and 14 tonnes of CO2.

And it saved the company £91,000.

By focusing on the potential savings to their business’ bottom line, McAlpine was able to find solutions which saved transport time, cut down on the landfill space required and saved thousands of pounds on a single project.

Waste management strategies are a great way of meeting UK government targets and saving the environment.

And by following the examples set by BAM, Galliford Try and Sir Robert McAlpine, you can also implement a long-term strategy that will reduce waste, lower supply costs and save significant amounts of money on every single project you undertake.


  • A waste management strategy takes time. A long-term plan is essential to deliver results.
  • Sustainability starts with supply. By educating your supply chain, you’ll reduce waste at every stage of operations.
  • Reducing waste is about more than saving the environment. It can save your business thousands of pounds on each and every project.


Start making significant savings for your construction company by downloading our free eGuide How to Produce a Cost-Saving Strategy and Plan for Waste Management

Download: How to Produce a Cost-Saving Strategy and Plan for Waste Management