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Include soils in SWMPs to access financial benefits

Construction companies that include waste soil in their Site Waste Management Plans (SWMPs) have a better chance of meeting waste reduction targets and improving their bottom line, according to the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

Calls for soil reuse to be incorporated into SWMPs have come from the Landscape & Regeneration Team at WRAP, which has said that businesses which just concentrate on reducing waste building and demolition materials but ignore soils are missing a valuable opportunity.

WRAP Landscape & Regeneration programme manager Paul Mathers said: Reusing soils can play an important role in helping businesses with their SWMPs, but often people forget that soils can be a waste.

"Too many construction companies still dispose of soils from project sites to landfill and import new topsoil to meet the landscaping needs of their developments.

Businesses need to start considering soils at the beginning of a project, as part of their materials budgeting process. Existing onsite soils and soil forming materials can be mixed with quality compost to create excellent topsoil.

In April 2008 SWMPs will be a legal requirement for all projects worth more than £300,000 in England.

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Image: Soil washing machines at the London 2012 Olympic Park

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