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Proposals published for reducing annual 109 million tonnes of waste

Proposals have been published for reducing the 109 million tonnes of waste produced by the UK construction industry each year.

At present, around 13% of all solid material delivered to sites goes unused, and up to one third ends up in landfill. On top of this, 33% of all fly tipping includes waste from the construction, demolition and excavation sectors.

In light of this, a consultation carried out by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has proposed making Site Waste Management Plans (SWMPs) a legal requirement for all projects in England worth over £250,000.

Environment Minster Ben Bradshaw said: Rising levels of waste crime are stopping us from achieving a sustainable construction sector, and rising numbers of fly tips around the country, many of which are made up of construction and demolition waste, adversely affects the quality of life in many communities.

Its essential that industry is seen to be taking this problem seriously. We can only expect householders to reduce their own waste if they understand that they do this as part of a much wider process which demands action from every one of us.

SWMPs could be updated to record what actually happens to the waste, with an audit trail reducing the potential for fly tipping and increasing the accountability of contractors.

The consultation addresses issues such as whether they should be a statutory requirement, the minimum level at which a project should require a SWMP and the level of detail they should offer.

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