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Construction industry eyes waste reduction

Monday 09 July 2007

houseA consultation on waste levels in the construction industry has led to calls for stricter regulations across the board. In response to the consultation, the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) called for all projects involving more than 30 days or 500 person days of construction to implement a compulsory Site Waste Management Plan (SWMP), in a bid to reduce the current 109m tonnes of waste that the sector produces annually (Defra).

Along with the SWMPs, the CIOB has called on the Government to consider incentive based programmes designed to encourage the industry to lower waste levels, as well as further inspection and enforcement in line with existing regulatory checks.

“As an industry we can’t just rely on construction companies with an ethical approach to the environment to take up the slack for those that show little concern for the use and misuse of our resources,” commented Michael Brown, CIOB deputy chief executive. “We need a change of behaviour that requires everyone to reduce waste. Without the appropriate regulation and teeth we fear that SWMPs will only be used by larger operators who have an interest in environmental issues.”

“We would like to see a greater emphasis from government on the use of sustainable materials, equipment and techniques. All construction projects should be designed and built to be environmentally efficient with a measurable reduction, and recycling, of construction waste.”

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