The construction industry is a major contributor to the UK economy, but this comes at a cost. Each year of the 400 million tonnes of solid materials used, only
two-thirds is added to the building stock - the rest is consigned to landfill.
A Defra consultation proposes to make Site Waste Management Plans a legal requirement for all projects in England worth over £250,000. Those responsible
for Plans would need to assess the waste that will be produced on a construction site and detail how it will be reused, recycled or disposed of.
During construction, the Plans would be updated to record what actually happens to the waste, including the legitimate disposal of materials that cannot
be reused or recycled. This audit trail would reduce the potential for fly-tipping and increase the accountability of contractors. Higher level reporting
and review processes would apply to projects over £500,000.
Site Waste Management Plans (SWMPs) should also help the construction industry to get maximum value out of its waste and make better use of resources.