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Lack of recycling and waste awareness rife in construction says report

Two-thirds of construction businesses do not know what a site waste management plan is, according to a report by the British Urban Regeneration Association (BURA). The report, Waste Management in Urban Regeneration, also said that more than 60% of construction businesses do not realise that such plans will become a legal requirement next year. As well as the legal implications of a lack of awareness of recycling and waste regulations, the report found that construction companies are missing out on the cost savings that can be made by recycling waste and using recycled materials. Contrary to conventional thinking, using recycled materials in construction can and does lead to cost savings. However, much of the industry has seen recycling waste as unprofitable and therefore impractical, said the report. BURA chief executive Jon Ladd said: Our report has found that the perception of recycling in construction is that it is costly and that it is putting companies off. This is a misperception that the report can help to correct. The European Commissions working document on Construction and Demolition Waste suggests that member states should be recycling or reusing up to 85% of construction waste by 2010. At present the UK recycles 51%. To achieve the remaining percentage we need to shift perceptions and make significant changes. Recommendations in the report aim to build on good practices already used in the construction industry. These include regional waste stores for materials that cannot be reused immediately, implementation of an Investors in Waste Management quality standard, EU fines for countries that do not meet their targets and that a share of the fly-tipping fine levied on offenders should be given to members of the public who report an offence. BURA works to identify and promote best practice in regeneration and has a membership that includes private, public, voluntary, community and academic sectors.

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