| Waste management

Understanding the importance of having a robust Site Waste Management Plan (SWMP) 

In the realm of Reconomy’s work with our many partners in the construction, housebuilding, and infrastructure sectors, robust waste management is not just a matter of CSR, it is imperative to a site’s efficiency and compliance. To help guide our many customers across these three sectors, Reconomy works with our partners to implement a tailored Site Waste Management Plan (SWMP) aimed at minimising waste generation, increasing site recycling rates, and enhancing overall sustainability efforts throughout.  

Feeling unsure about where to get started with your SWMP? Do not worry, we have got you covered. Let us dive into how you can go about implementing a SWMP, and the benefits of doing so 

What is a Site Waste Management Plan (SWMP)? 

In short, a SWMP is a document created for businesses to outline how any waste being generated will be managed on their site. It serves as a roadmap for all members of the workforce to follow, from contractors to project managers, helping them to effectively handle waste whilst applying the principles of the waste hierarchy. 

Why do you need a Site Waste Management Plan (SWMP)? 

A SWMP should be the first line on the agenda for any site starting up, especially those with construction costs that exceed £300,000 in value, it then becomes a legal requirement to have one.  

What makes up a SWMP? 

Waste auditing and analysis

A typical SWMP begins with the auditing of a site to confirm the streams of waste expected to be generated during the project. This process involves somebody attending a site to identify the sources of waste being generated and confirming a full list of existing and potential waste streams. For example, a typical audit of a construction site would show substantial amounts of waste categorised as demolition materials, packaging, or debris.  

Waste analysis and strategy planning

Once the auditing of the waste on site has taken place, a tailored strategy will be agreed that helps sites concentrate on a set number of goals. This involves preventing waste generation wherever possible, applying the first step of the waste hierarchy to reduce the need for materials to end up as waste in the first place. The team will provide in-depth analysis of the journey of your all materials, helping us identify any areas that can be either be improved (such as the ordering of excess materials) or removed.  

Confirming how waste is being generated on your site and what waste streams there are helps us supply the relevant services you need to both aid and improve segregation to increase overall recycling levels.  

Prioritising waste segregation

Prioritising segregation of your site’s waste streams is crucial for both your recycling and disposal methods. As part of a tailored SWMP, it will specify how waste should be segregated on your site and provide you with guidance on how to store it safely and efficiently until collection. 

For example, if we notice that the current containers being used for waste is either contaminated or has a mix of waste streams, we will propose services to help improve current segregation and reduce the amount of waste collections you need each week/month. Whilst new services may seem an added cost, the reduction in waste collections needed will drive down your waste costs significantly.  

Reconomy’s team will also help you by confirming all the relevant signage you will need on your site to point your workforce towards the right container. We believe participation and collaboration are crucial, so we prioritise training your workforce to make sure everybody is pulling in the right direction towards your site’s overall sustainability goals.  

Monitoring and reporting through our Site Liaison Officers

Throughout the duration of your site’s project, progress in your overall waste management will be monitored and documented regularly by our team of Site Liaison Officers (SLOs). Using the data collected by the SLOs and inputted into our Reconomy Portal, reports are generated to track your performance against waste generation, recycling rates, and carbon reduction.  

Why are Site Waste Management Plans important?  

It improves your sites overall sustainability efforts

By reducing waste generation and promoting recycling across your site, SWMP’s help businesses reduce the environmental impact of their construction, housebuilding, and infrastructure activities. In return, this helps us all by conserving natural resources and mitigating pollution levels.  

It can reduce costs

Robust waste management will lead your site to significant cost savings by reducing the need for regular waste disposal. By segregating your waste into different containers, you reduce the need for more regular waste collections because it will take longer to fill completely, subsequently reducing your monthly transport costs. 

Ensuring compliance against the latest legislation

With the world of waste compliance and legislation forever changing and developing, businesses in the construction, infrastructure and housebuilding sectors need SWMP’s in place as part of their regulatory requirements. Ensuring compliance with the latest regulations is essential to avoid fines and penalties that could occur from improper waste management. 

Implement your SWMP with Reconomy… 

In today’s construction industry, the adoption of sustainable practices is no longer a choice but a necessity. A well-crafted Site Waste Management Plan is a powerful tool for achieving sustainability goals while simultaneously improving project efficiency and compliance. By integrating waste reduction, recycling, and responsible disposal practices into every stage of a construction, housebuilding and infrastructure project, companies can not only reduce their environmental footprint but also reap financial, regulatory, and reputational benefits in the process.