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WRAP pushes ahead on construction

The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) is pushing ahead with its drive to make efficient use of materials and reduce waste on construction projects.

Demand for construction materials with high recycled content in new building projects is increasingly being driven by some of the industrys largest clients with many in the process of setting minimum requirements for recycled content.

This has become one element of their sustainable procurement practice and as a result, the supply chain is increasingly motivated to measure and improve performance on waste management and use of recovered material.

Such outlooks will drive down the amount of waste sent to landfill and make recycling more economic. The Scottish Executive for example announced last month that it has asked all public bodies to include minimum requirements for recycled content in tender specifications for construction procurement.

It recommends a target of at least 10% of the total value of materials used on projects over £1 million while Yorkshire Forward has become the first regional development agency to implement similar requirements.

WRAP programme manager for construction procurement doctor David Moon said: Construction clients can act most effectively to drive change through the tendering process. By including a minimum requirement and a request for good practice within tender specifications and contracts, significant progress can be achieved in improving sustainability.

Case studies show that contractors can meet requirements without increasing the costs of materials or increasing risks. There are many mainstream product options available to the construction industry, and a more informed approach to materials purchasing can significantly increase the level of recycled content in a new building.

But, it takes a clients mandate to get the supply chain to address this issue and realise the opportunities.

Many other organisations are setting minimum requirements of between 10% and 20%, with WRAP helping them to look at how they can increase efficiency in a number of ways.

Free advice, guidance, training and tools are offered to help implement change with details available at www.wrap.org.uk/construction.

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