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Baselines for measuring construction waste revealed

Methods for establishing baselines for both construction waste to landfill and carbon emissions on construction sites have been revealed by the Strategic Forum for Construction.

It is hoped that having these methods in place to establish baselines will provide a step forward for meeting the targets of the Strategy for Sustainable Construction, launched in 2008.

The strategy included targets on halving construction waste to landfill and gave 2008 as the baseline year from which to measure progress. However, there was no method of measurement meaning the baselines were, until now, unknown.

According to the research in 2008 the amount of construction, demolition and excavation (CD&E) waste going to landfill in England was 12.55 million tonnes, equivalent to 118 tonnes per £million of contractors output. So a 50% reduction by 2012, in line with the targets, equates to a required reduction in CD&E waste of 6.28 tonnes.

Strategic Forum for Construction head of the waste subgroup Peter Johnson said: Having a robust way of measuring CD&E waste to landfill is the essential first step in understanding the work that now must be done to improve resource efficiency and decrease the amounts going to landfill.

The waste subgroup will now analyse the principal waste streams contributing to the 2008 baseline so that priority action can be identified to deliver the 50% reduction target by 2012.

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