Taylor Wimpey: Midlands Region

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41% reduction in waste tonnage per building plot achieved from 2015 to the end of 2016

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By March 2015, waste generated per housebuilding plot had dropped from 5.55 tonnes to 2.48

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A 55% drop in tonnes of waste per completed housebulding plot through the 'back to basics' campaign

Waste increases

Formed by the merger of George Wimpey and Taylor Woodrow in 2007, Taylor Wimpey is one of the UK’s largest housing developers. Operating out of 24 regional offices based all over the UK, Taylor Wimpey is responsible for building and selling over 10,000 homes each year. Reconomy has worked with Taylor Wimpey since 2007 and continues to enjoy a productive partnership that has consistently helped to drive down volumes of waste. In 2014, however, Taylor Wimpey recorded a group-wide increase in the amount of waste being removed from its construction sites, in some cases by as much as 34%.

Back to basics

Following an internal review and consultation with Reconomy, Taylor Wimpey concluded that this increase could be attributed to a shift in on-site priorities, which had resulted in waste no longer getting the attention it required. As an example, prior to 2014 all of Taylor Wimpey’s newly purchased mini-tippers were colour-coded to assist with waste segregation at source, but this had subsequently lapsed. Likewise, each Taylor Wimpey site had previously benefitted from an appointed on-site waste champion, however an increase in staff turnover had pushed this down the priority list.

This contributed to some waste streams, such as inert materials, being disposed of in skips rather than stockpiled for recycling, thereby pushing up overall waste disposal costs. It was decided that a ‘back to basics’ approach was needed, involving each Taylor Wimpey region reengaging with Reconomy and adopting a standardised approach to waste minimisation across all of its sites. Taylor Wimpey’s Midlands region was quick to take a group-wide lead on this and immediately set about improving on-site waste management protocols.

Implementation period

Between January and March 2015, a three-month implementation plan was rolled out across all Taylor Wimpey housebuilding projects within its Midlands region – consisting of 14 sites. Regular site visits were carried out by Reconomy’s team of Site Liaison Officers (SLOs) to directly support each Site Manager, providing them with expert advice and guidance on how to reduce waste. A range of measures were also put in place to maximise every opportunity for segregation, recycling and reuse.

This included the introduction of a standardised site set-up for waste containers and the reintroduction of colour-coded mini-tippers, supported by high-visibility signage. Toolbox talks and training was also given to all on-site personnel to reinforce the principles of the waste hierarchy (eliminate, reduce, reuse, recycle, dispose). This subsequently led to a Taylor Wimpey Best Practice guide being created for group-wide implementation. All Site Managers were also provided with access to the Reconomy Portal, giving them full visibility of their waste data – both at site level and across each region, so they could directly compare their waste performance.


Like many other housebuilders, it was identified that Taylor Wimpey was disposing of a disproportionate amount of light mixed waste during the housebuilding process – including packaging, low grade plastics, card and polythene. Once the necessary ‘back to basics’ measures had been implemented and there was confidence that good waste segregation practices were being followed, two of Taylor Wimpey’s Midlands sites were selected to pioneer Reconomy’s Sustain-a-bale® system. Sustain-a-bale works by compacting low density materials to minimise the amount of space that these frequently bulky, yet lightweight, waste streams occupy.

The system went live in March 2015 on White Willow Park in Canley, Coventry and Diglis Basin in Worcester for a 12-month period. The trial produced extremely positive results, with White Willow Park surpassing all expectations by reducing volumes of light mixed waste by 60% over the 12-month trial period. This was achieved as a direct consequence of efficient segregation of all waste streams and by following the waste hierarchy.

Achieving results

Taylor Wimpey calculates its waste performance based on the volume of tonnage generated against the number of legal completions achieved. At the start of January 2015 Taylor Wimpey’s Midlands region was generating 5.55 tonnes of waste per completed housebuilding plot. By March, following the three-month ‘back to basics’ campaign, this had fallen to 2.48 tonnes – a 55% drop. With continued regular engagement, a standardised waste strategy adopted across all developments and Sustain-a-bale on two developments, waste volumes for the whole of 2014, 2015 and 2016 revealed that the total tonnage generated per plot had fallen by 41%. Taylor Wimpey and Reconomy continue to work closely on innovative new approaches to waste minimisation, whilst the Sustaina- bale trial has now been newly introduced on two other sites across the region.

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