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Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management Guidance for construction clients, design teams and contractors Practical solutions for sustainable construction Material change for a better environment
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  • Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and ManagementGuidance for construction clients, design teams and contractors

    Practical solutions for sustainable construction

    Material change fora better environment

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  • WRAP works in partnership to encourage and enable businesses and consumers to be more efficient in their use of materials and recycle more things more often. This helps to minimise landfill, reduce carbon emissions and improve our environment.


    Executive summary 03Introduction 06Why is good practice WMM important? 07What is good practice WMM? 11Pre-design and client requirement stage 15Design and works procurement stage 17Construction stage 20Waste Recovery Quick Wins 28Model clauses for procurement 32Conclusion 43

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  • 03Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    Executive summary

    Implementing good practice wasteminimisation and management (WMM) onconstruction projects will help reduce thesignificant quantities of construction wastesent to landfill and make a substantialcontribution to sustainable development.

    The purpose of this guidance is to assistconstruction clients, design teams and maincontractors achieve good practice WMM ontheir construction projects. It sets out what ismeant by good practice WMM, why it isimportant, who should implement it and howit can be made an explicit requirement of theprocurement process. This guidance is part ofa suite of three documents that focusspecifically on good practice WMM. The otherguidance documents provide a high-levelbusiness case for client decision makers anda technical summary for implementing goodpractice WMM by the contractor and theirsupply chain.

    Key benefitsIncreasing numbers of construction clients,developers, design teams and contractors areimplementing good practice WMM to secure arange of key project benefits. These benefitsinclude the ability to:

    reduce material and disposal coststhrough a reduction in the materialsordered and waste taken to landfill;

    increase competitive advantage throughdifferentiation;

    improve performance against CSRobjectives;

    lower CO2 emissions;

    meet planning requirements;

    complement other aspects of sustainabledesign; and

    respond to and pre-empt changes inpublic policy, such as increases in Landfill Tax.

    Good practice WMMGood practice WMM should follow theprinciples of the waste hierarchy: reduce thequantity of waste generated, then maximisethe amount that can be reused or recycled.

    Waste minimisation includes a range ofstraightforward methods to design-outwaste from a project and limit waste arisingduring the construction phase. Wastemanagement involves identifying potentialwaste streams, setting target recovery ratesand managing the process to ensure thatthese targets are met. Good practice WMM isgoing beyond standard practice to realisebenefits that can be achieved on manyprojects without a fundamental change inworking practice and will in most casesgenerate cost savings.

    Good practice WMM can be applied to allforms of construction project, including newbuild, refurbishment, fit-out andinfrastructure, regardless of the procurementroute adopted.

    Fully benefiting from good practice WMM on a project will mean adopting its principles at the earliest possible stage, preferablymandated by the client through procurementrequirements. The principles of good practiceshould then be communicated andimplemented by the design team, contractor,sub-contractors and waste managementcontractors through all project phases fromoutline design to project completion. Thisprocess is illustrated on the following page.

    WasteMinimisation and Management(WMM) onconstructionprojects will help reduce the significantquantities ofconstruction wastesent to landfill

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  • 04 Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    Good practice WMM techniques andprocesses, for example, using ModernMethods of Construction and identifying a site waste champion, should be implementedthrough a Site Waste Management Plan(SWMP).

    Using Site Waste Management PlansA SWMP is not just a tool for managing wasteon-site. It should be also used as a toolduring earlier project phases to inform thedevelopment of the design by identifyingpotential waste streams to minimise andtargeting appropriate rates of recovery.

    Planning and developing the SWMP beforeconstruction begins will greatly help realisethe benefits of good practice WMM.

    It is expected that the use of SWMPs willbecome a mandatory requirement for manyprojects throughout the UK, the currentposition being summarised opposite.

    Client Design team Contractor and sub-contractorsPre-design

    Design & procurement

    1. Set project requirement

    for good practice WMM



    9. Monitor waste


    Report outcomes and

    Quick Wins

    10. Review performance of the SWMP and lessons


    Report outcomes and

    Quick Wins

    2. Identify key opportunities for waste minimisation

    3. Plan waste management by developing a SWMP

    4. Tender and contractual requirements for good

    practice SWMP implementation and

    targeting of Quick Wins

    Pre-construction5. Set targets

    and Key Performance


    6. Define responsibilities and contracts

    7. Identify waste arisings, reuse and recycling


    8. Site design and training

    Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

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  • .we require a Site Waste ManagementPlan (SWMP) to be developed from thepre-design stage to inform the adoption ofgood practice waste minimisation in design,and for the SWMP to be implemented in allconstruction site activities in line with goodpractice published by WRAP. The SWMP isrequired to set targets for waste reductionand recovery based on an assessment ofthe likely composition and quantity ofwaste arisings and identification of themost significant cost-effective options forimprovement (Quick Wins). This should besupplemented by information on how thetargets will be achieved duringconstruction activities and how the actuallevels of waste reduction and recovery willbe monitored for comparison with thetargets set.

    05Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    Aiming for Quick WinsOn any project there are certain key wastestreams that can offer significant savings,otherwise known as Quick Wins. Byimplementing three to four of these goodpractice Quick Wins, there is potential toincrease overall recycling rates ofconstruction waste from standard industryperformance by more than 20%.

    To assist the setting of target waste recoveryrates, WRAP have identified good practicerecovery rates for a comprehensive range ofwaste streams.

    Setting a requirementClients can provide a mandate for action onall construction projects by setting arequirement for good practice WMM whenprocuring design teams and contractors. Thissimple action will be the crucial first step inrealising the key benefits of adopting goodpractice WMM. The clients core requirementcan be set as follows:

    England and Wales


    Northern Ireland

    SWMPs expected to become a mandatory requirement for projects with avalue in excess of 250,000 from April 2008 following separateconsultations in England and Wales.

    The 2006 public consultation on the proposed Scottish Planning Policy 10:Planning for Waste Management, included provision for SWMPs to formpart of the planning conditions for new developments with a value in excessof 200,000.

    The Waste Management Strategy 2006 2020 indicated that detailedproposals for a statutory requirement to prepare SWMPs will followthrough a public consultation.

    This requirement crystallises the clientsproject objective for good practice WMM andcan be cascaded through the entire supplychain using a suite of procurement clauses toensure that it is delivered.

    Making it simpleTo help clients, designers, contractors andsub-contractors, WRAP have produced a suiteof guidance material of which this guidancedocument is part, to assist in achieving goodpractice WMM: a high level business case forclient decision makers and a technicalsummary for implementation by thecontractor and their supply chain.

    In addition, WRAPs construction containsextensive related information covering allaspects of materials use in construction,including case studies, reference guides and information on managing specific waste streams.

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  • 06 Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    The construction industry is the UKs largestconsumer of natural resources, using over400 million tonnes of material per annum. Itgenerates more than one-third of the UKswaste arisings, of which only half is reused orrecycled (primarily aggregates and metals).Over 60 million tonnes of construction sectorwaste is sent to landfill or similar disposalsites every year. More efficient use ofmaterials would make a major contribution toreducing the environmental impacts ofconstruction including reducing demand forlandfill and the depletion of finite naturalresources. This would also contribute to theeconomic efficiency of the sector and of theUK as a whole.

    Major improvements in materials efficiencyare possible, without increasing cost, by:

    minimising the overall creation of wasteresulting from, for example, over-orderingor inefficient design;

    reducing the quantity of material sent tolandfill during the construction processthrough effective waste management;

    recycling materials already on theconstruction site into the new constructionproject; and

    using more recycled materials andmainstream products with higher recycledcontent, including recycled content (suchas glass and plastic) not necessarilysourced from construction and demolitionwaste.

    Taking action in each of these areas wouldenable construction projects to achieve goodor best practice in resource efficiency. Thesekey actions fit into a sequence (see Figure1.1) and should be prioritised in accordancewith the waste hierarchy (see Figure 3.1 inSection 3).

    As a result, construction clients anddevelopers are increasingly looking to settargets and requirements for good practicewaste minimisation and management (WMM)and the use of materials containing higherlevels of recycled content. They see it as arelatively simple and measurable way ofmaking a difference which can be easilyincorporated within a wider sustainabilityaction plan for a project.

    Bearing in mind the high cost of disposing ofwaste, it is apparent that producing lesswaste will have the added benefit ofminimising the cost of removing that waste.In light of recent and future increases inLandfill Tax, reducing the amount of wasteproduced and improving management andrecovery options will produce ever increasingfinancial savings as well as the obviousenvironmental benefits.

    1.0 Introduction

    Waste Minimisation and Management Materials Recycling

    Procurement ofRecycled Content

    Figure 1.1 Sequence of actions to deliver good practice in resourceefficiency in construction

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  • 07Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    2.1 Key benefitsAdopting the principles of good practice WMM on a project can demonstrate a firmcommitment to sustainable construction andenvironmental management. If implementedcorrectly, good practice WMM can be astraightforward process that can deliver arange of benefits in addition to improvementsin materials resource efficiency.

    Key benefits include:

    reduced material and disposal costs less waste generated means that areduced quantity of materials will bepurchased, and less waste taken to landfillwill reduce gate fees for disposal. Costsavings will stimulate the adoption ofimproved recovery practices and motivatea sustained change in waste managementpractice;

    increased competitive differentiation benefits both developers and contractors,particularly where this will help to meetprospective clients sustainabilityobjectives;

    increased performance against CSRobjectives - real performance againstcorporate responsibility and sustainabilitypolicies can be quantified, therebymeeting the expectations of externalstakeholders and employees;

    lower CO2 emissions as an example,implementing good practice plasterboardrecovery compared with standard practicecan save 4.2 tonnes of CO2 for each tonneof additionally recovered plasterboard;

    meeting planning requirements planning authorities are increasinglysetting conditions for environmentalperformance as part of the developmentprocess;

    complementing other aspects ofsustainable design; and

    responding to and pre-empting publicpolicy those organisations responding tothe thrust in public policy making for theincreased sustainability of constructionand the built environment will be in anadvantageous position in comparison withthose that wait until they are compelled toact by legislation.

    Good practice WMM is a particularlyattractive option because it is relativelystraightforward to develop and implementand need not impact the overall design andfinancial outcomes of the project. It ispossible to be significantly more efficient inthe use of natural resources withoutcompromising cost, quality or constructionprogrammes.

    2.0 Why is good practice Waste Minimisation andManagement important?

    WasteMinimisation and Management can be astraightforwardprocess that candeliver a rangeof benefitsincludingreduced costsand improvedCSR

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  • 08 Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    2.2 True cost of wasteThe true cost of waste disposal is not just thecost of paying a waste contractor to remove askip from site, as illustrated in Figure 2.1.

    There are also some additional costs notcovered in the above, these are:

    the time taken by on-site sorting, handlingand managing waste;

    poor packing or overfilling of skips leadingto double handling (this cost is verydifficult to quantify); and

    the cost of the materials that have been wasted.

    As an example, the true cost of filling anddisposing of one skip with mixed constructionwaste in one study1 was found to be 1,343.Although the skip hire was only 85, thelabour cost to fill it was 163 whilst the costof unused material in the skip was the mostsignificant at 1,095.

    The true cost of construction waste willcontinue to rise substantially each year due to:

    Landfill Tax increasing each year (seeSection 2.3 below);

    higher disposal costs; and

    taxes and levies on primary materials.

    2.3 Key public policy driversThere is an increasing thrust of public policyto achieve greater resource efficiency andreduce waste sent to landfill in theconstruction industry. While there is currentlyno regulatory obligation to reduce andmanage waste to good practice standards,

    the following initiatives provide a clearindication of the direction in which policy is moving.

    Landfill TaxThe Landfill Tax was introduced in 1996 toencourage all organisations, including thosein the construction industry, to reduce theamount of waste disposed to landfill. Thereare two rates of tax: a standard rate of 24per tonne for active waste (substances thateither decay or contaminate land); and alower rate of 2 per tonne for inert materials(including rocks, soils, ceramics andconcrete). The standard rate is due toincrease by a rate of 8 per tonne, perannum, until 2010/11 and the lower rate willincrease from 2 to 2.50 per tonne in 2008.The proposed increases therefore provide astrong financial incentive to reduce wastewith immediate effect.

    Mandatory requirement for Site WasteManagement Plans on construction projectsAn important part of a good practice WMMstrategy for a project is the Site WasteManagement Plan (SWMP) see Section 3.2of this guidance for further information. It isexpected that the use of SWMPs will becomea mandatory requirement for many projectsthroughout the UK in the near future, thecurrent position being summarised below.

    England and Wales


    Northern Ireland

    A requirement for regulatory measures was included in the CleanNeighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005. Following separateconsultations in England and Wales, it is expected that a basic SWMP willbe a mandatory requirement for projects with a value in excess of 250,000and a detailed SWMP for projects in excess of 500,000 from April 2008.

    The 2006 public consultation on the proposed Scottish Planning Policy 10:Planning for Waste Management, included provision for SWMPs to formpart of the planning conditions for new developments with a value in excessof 200,000.

    The Waste Management Strategy 2006 2020 indicated that detailedproposals for a statutory requirement to prepare SWMPs will followthrough a public consultation.

    1 AMEC Darlington Survey(

    Purchase cost of the delivered

    materials wasted

    Cost of waste storage, transport,

    treatment and disposal

    Loss of not selling waste for salvage or not recycling

    Figure 2.1 The true cost of waste

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  • 09Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    2.4 Contribution to sustainabledevelopment

    There are three key areas where thedevelopment and construction industry needsto increase its efficiency: energy, water andmaterials usage. Figure 2.2 highlights thevarious ways in which efficient use ofmaterials directly contributes to greatersustainability in construction.

    Efficient use of finite natural materials

    Minimising environmental damage

    Materials In(product and


    Materials Out(good practice


    Key sustainability goals

    Energy Materials Water

    Utilising materials recovered onsite or

    locally e.g. construction and demolition

    waste, PFA

    Specification of materials with low environmental impact (e.g. those that

    are A rated in the Green Guide to Specification)

    Waste avoidance and minimisation,

    e.g. through off-site manufacturing and

    stock control

    Returning packaging and surplus materials

    (e.g. plasterboard off-cuts) for reuse

    / recycling

    Procurement of products containing higher than

    standard levels of recycled content

    Reducing the total amount of materials in a design

    Collection, segregation and recycling of wastes

    Figure 2.2 Good practice Waste Minimisation and Management is a key element of sustainable construction

    Code for Sustainable HomesThe Code for Sustainable Homes is avoluntary scheme that has been developed byGovernment and Industry. The Code focuseson new build housing with the expectationthat it will be adapted to apply to all buildingsin the longer term. The Code is currently avoluntary assessment standard but it maybecome mandatory in the future. A specificrequirement of the Code is for a SWMP to be in operation in order to achieve theminimum assessment rating. Further pointsare awarded where the SWMP includesprocedures and commitments that minimisewaste in accordance with WRAP/Envirowiseguidance.

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  • 10 Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    The Figure shows that there are twoimportant aspects of materials efficiency;product selection and waste management.Each of these can then be broken down intoconstituent parts which themselves have animpact on both:

    1. Minimising environmental damage:Reduced waste means less quantity oflandfill space used and reducedenvironmental impacts (e.g. embodiedCO2, SO2, NO2, particulates and waste)associated with extracting, transporting,and manufacturing / processing the rawmaterials of construction products2.

    2. Conserving natural resources: Recycledpackaging and waste results in a reduceddemand for virgin materials therebystimulating demand for recycled materialsamongst product manufacturers andthereby encouraging higher levels ofrecycling throughout the economy.

    By minimising the amount of wastegenerated during construction, maximisingthe proportion of unavoidable waste arisingsthat are recycled whilst simultaneously usingrecycled materials from other sectors ( and plastic), the construction sectorcan make a major contribution to achievingthis goal.

    2 The Green Guide toSpecification. Anderson, Shiers, and Sinclair, 2002. BRE Bookshops.

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  • 11Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    3.1 IntroductionThe principal objective of good practice WMMis to use materials more efficiently and toreduce the amount of waste requiring finaldisposal. Adopting the waste hierarchy (seeFigure 3.1) to reduce, reuse, recycle, recoverand dispose, makes good business senseboth for clients and the construction sector.

    Good practice WMM should follow the wastehierarchy. The primary aim should thereforebe to minimise the total quantity of wasteproduced through a project. After this, thewaste that is produced should be managedeffectively to limit the quantity sent to landfill.This will involve recovering the material in anumber of waste streams for either re-use or recycling.

    3.0 What is good practice WasteMinimisation and Management?

    Figure 3.1 Waste hierarchy



    Recycling andcomposting

    Energy recoverywith heat and power

    Landfill with energy



    Section 6.1

    Design and Procurement

    Section 5


    Section 6.2


    Section 6.3


    Section 4

    Key projectphases

    The potential for minimising and managingwaste should be considered throughout theproject. To achieve this, a requirement forgood practice WMM needs to be introduced atthe outset of a project when there is mostscope to influence the project outcomes. Theobjective should be addressed in subsequentproject phases (design and construction) byall parties, with the lessons learnt from theproject implemented on future projects. Theremaining sections of this guidance willfollow the key stages of the project shown inFigure 3.2.

    A critical component for delivering goodpractice WMM is the formulation andimplementation of a Site Waste ManagementPlan (SWMP) at an early stage of a project.Section 3.2 gives a brief introduction toSWMPs and is detailed further in remainingsections of this guidance.

    Figure 3.2 Key project phases for implementing good practice WasteMinimisation and Management and the relevant sections in this document

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  • 12 Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    immediate noticeable improvement inwaste segregation and record keeping forwaste.

    A register is produced of the likely typesand quantities of waste generated duringconstruction.

    Training is formalised for personnel ateach level of the waste supply chain sowaste awareness improves. To improveoverall awareness of the SWMP, allcontractors must sign and formally agreeto the document.

    Identifying target recovery rates for each waste type along with formalmeasurement of these targets todemonstrate compliance andimplementation of the SWMP.

    Formulating and implementing a SWMP on a project should be viewed as a process fordelivering good practice WMM, with inputfrom the design team, contractor and sub-contractors, rather than an end in itself.

    3.3 Waste minimisation an overviewWaste minimisation is one of the mosteffective approaches to responding to thewaste problem in the construction industry.Waste minimisation should be considered notonly for the construction phase of a buildingbut through to eventual deconstruction. Thisrequires a cradle to cradle approach.

    The key aspects of waste minimisation arebriefly outlined below.

    Design solutions

    Building form design building size andspace to eliminate unnecessary elements,and to reduce off-cuts resulting fromthe construction process, and ensurecompatibility between market supplyand specification.

    Design flexibility ensure flexibility indesign for future building expansion,adaptation and dismantling.

    Design complexity reduce thecomplexity of the design to standardisethe construction process and reducethe quantity of materials required.

    3.2 Site Waste Management Plans an overview

    The DTI originally published a voluntary Codeof Practice for Site Waste Management Plans(SWMPs) in 20043. As described in Section2.3, it is expected that SWMPs will become amandatory requirement across the UK.

    The benefits of implementing a SWMP inaccordance with DTI Guidance have beenfound to be4:

    15% less waste on-site;

    43% less waste to landfill;

    50% savings in waste handling charges;and

    40% saving on waste management costscompared to landfill disposal.

    However, to realise the benefits of goodpractice WMM, a SWMP should be developedand implemented to good practice standardsas identified by WRAP beyond theregulatory minimum.

    The SWMP, having been initially developed bythe design team, should be fully developedand implemented by the principal contractor.As a minimum, the SWMP will containdetailed measures to comply with relevantwaste legislation but should also includegood practice guidance and objectives inorder to maximise the reduction, re-use andrecovery of construction waste, with disposalto landfill as the least preferred option. TheSWMP can also be used by the design teamas a tool to inform waste minimisation duringthe design stage of the project to ensure thatthe desired benefits of implementing theSWMP during later project stages will berealised.

    The DTI guidance identifies nine steps toeffectively implementing a project SWMP. The majority of steps involve planning sitewaste management during pre-construction,illustrating the importance of this projectphase to effective waste management. Keyfeatures of good practice in the nine stepsinclude:

    The person responsible for producing andimplementing SWMP is identified. Thisperson may also be given responsibility forensuring compliance with Duty of Careregulations. This can result in an

    3 DTI - Site Waste ManagementPlan (1021 kb)

    4 Report C536 from CIRIA.

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  • 13Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    Off-Site Manufacturing utiliseprefabrication, factory assembly, pre-assembly, off-site assembly/manufacture,panelised or modular volumetricconstruction where possible, for example,staircases, lift assemblies, architecturalsteelwork and toilet blocks for hotels,prisons and student accommodation.Waste Minimisation is realised due tothe controlled environment and theproduction line type process wherethere is repeatability in construction.

    Materials procurement

    Materials ordering reduce theamount of surplus materials byordering the correct amount ofmaterials at the right time.

    Material storage material storageareas should be safe, secure andweatherproof to prevent damage andtheft.

    Supply chain manager will developrelationships and partnerships withsuppliers during construction who canimplement waste minimisation at source.

    Take-back schemes setting upschemes with suppliers to take backsurplus materials.


    Reduce and reuse engage with thesupply chain to supply products andmaterials that use minimal packaging,and segregate packaging for reuse.

    3.4 Good practice WMMThe extent to which the construction industryis implementing methods of WMM can bedescribed using the concepts of standard,good and best practice. These three conceptsare illustrated in Figure 3.3.

    It should be the aim of all clients, designersand contractors to achieve good practiceWMM. With only a small change in currentworking practices, the key benefits can berealised: cost savings, more efficientoperations and lower environmental impact.Ultimately, the long-term aim is to meet bestpractice to maximise the benefits offered bygood practice WMM, and to eliminate any costpremium of best practice through economiesof scale and learning.

    Standard Practice Good Practice (Quick Wins)

    Best Practice

    Baseline performance of the construction industry based on achieving minimum standards and legal requirements.

    Going beyond standard practice to realise Quick Win benefits that are easy to achieve on a majority of projects without a fundamental change in working practice and are at least cost neutral.

    Reflects the leading approach currently undertaken in the industry, but may bear a cost premium or require a significant change in working practice on some projects.

    Figure 3.3 Standard, good and best practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    Specifications avoid over-specification and minimise variation incomponents and joints; evaluate thereuse and recycling opportunities forthe specified materials beforespecification.

    Demolition Avoid the disposal of reusable

    materials and building elements;maximise the use of reclaimedmaterials on site.


    Logistic Plan development of alogistic plan at the early stages of the project will ensure that dueconsideration is given to materialrequirements through the constructionphase of the project, enabling efficientmanagement of the delivery andstorage of materials and that the mosteffective logistic methods are adopted.

    Just-in-time delivery improving themovement of materials to the site andwithin the site to alleviate spaceconstraints for storage and sitecongestion.

    Construction Consolidation Centres these provide effective supply chainmanagement solutions enabling thesafe and efficient flow of constructionmaterials and equipment from supplierto site.

    Modern Methods of Construction (MMC)

    Improvements in the products orprocesses employed in theconstruction industry, ranging frominnovative components to be used onsite through to whole building systemsmanufactured off-site.

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  • 14 Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    Figure 3.4 Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    Client Design team Contractor and sub-contractorsPre-design

    Design & procurement

    1. Set project requirement

    for good practice WMM



    9. Monitor waste


    Report outcomes and

    Quick Wins

    10. Review performance of the SWMP and lessons


    Report outcomes and

    Quick Wins

    2. Identify key opportunities for waste minimisation

    3. Plan waste management by developing a SWMP

    4. Tender and contractual requirements for good

    practice SWMP implementation and

    targeting of Quick Wins

    Pre-construction5. Set targets

    and Key Performance


    6. Define responsibilities and contracts

    7. Identify waste arisings, reuse and recycling


    8. Site design and training

    It is recognised that it will not be practical toimplement all the measures for good andbest practice at once, and on some projectsrestrictions on space, time and resourcesmay make it hard to implement some ofthem. However, considerable improvementscan be made on most sites throughimplementing several Quick Wins - thereforethe potential benefits are available for allparties, regardless of the project type.

    All three concepts are developed further insubsequent sections of this guidance to showhow to meet good and best practice at eachdifferent project phase by clients, the designteam and contractors.

    3.5 Achieving good practice WMMThe effective delivery of good practice WMMon a project will require its adoption byclients, designers and contractors from theproject outset. The following sections addressthe roles and responsibilities of variousparties to achieve good practice throughoutthe project.

    Figure 3.4 summarises the key steps andresponsibilities for achieving good practiceWMM from setting a project requirement by the client from the outset through to itsimplementation and feedback of outcomes by the contractor.

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  • 15Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    Clients can encourage good practice WMMfrom the project outset on all projects. By setting requirements for good practiceupfront in the procurement process, theyprovide a mandate for action. This willmaximise the potential for realising the keybenefits of adopting good practice WMM.

    The clients core requirement can be framedas follows:

    Specific client responsibilities include:

    include a corporate objective for goodpractice WMM in the organisationsenvironmental or procurement policies toprovide a mandate for action on all projects;

    prior to appointment, determine the designteams/contractors awareness of applyingwaste minimisation methods and reusing,recycling and reclaiming materials;

    set a project requirement in the designbrief for the design team or contractor toconsider design options to minimisewaste, set good practice targets (throughKey Performance Indicators (KPIs)) formaterial recovery and to monitor thesetargets through developing andimplementing a SWMP;

    allocate project time and resources forplanning and implementing a SWMP;

    establish the appropriate constructionapproach, whether refurbishment ordemolition;

    set a clear and detailed design briefaimed at avoiding waste production duringconstruction where possible;

    develop a partnership way of workingamong the project team; and

    introduce WRAPs Efficient Use ofMaterials in Regeneration guideincorporating the ICE Demolition Protocolto the design team and encourage a linkwith the SWMP to maximise wastereduction.

    4.0 Pre-design and clientrequirement stage

    Client Design team Contractor and sub-contractorsPre-design1. Set project

    requirement for good

    practice WMM

    2. Identify key opportunities for waste minimisation

    Step 1 Set project requirement forgood practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    .we require a Site Waste ManagementPlan (SWMP) to be developed from thepre-design stage to inform the adoptionof good practice waste minimisation indesign, and for the SWMP to beimplemented in all construction siteactivities in line with good practicepublished by WRAP. The SWMP isrequired to set targets for wastereduction and recovery based on anassessment of the likely composition and quantity of waste arisings andidentification of the most significant cost-effective options for improvement (QuickWins). This should be supplemented byinformation on how the targets will beachieved during construction activitiesand how the actual levels of wastereduction and recovery will be monitoredfor comparison with the targets set.

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  • 16 Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    Rather than the client setting specific targetsfor material recovery rates, the onus shouldbe on the contractor to develop these targets,in conjunction with the design team, afteridentifying how to reduce waste andappropriate recovery methods. This isbecause the contractor is best placed toidentify opportunities to reduce waste giventheir position as the interface between thedesign and construction phases of the project taking into account the supply chain to be employed.

    The successful attainment of good practiceWMM during on-site activities will leaddirectly from the specific project objectivesset by the client. The clients requirementswill filter through the supply chain tospecifically target the contractor, sub-contractors and waste managementcontractors. Suggested wording for eachcontractual point in the procurement process is provided in Section 8.

    The contractor is best placed to identifyopportunities to reduce waste

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  • 17Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    The design and works procurement stageresponsibilities depend on the procurementroute adopted. Table 5.1 identifies who shouldbe responsible for good practice WMMdepending on the procurement route.

    The key actions in the design and worksprocurement stage for consideration by eitherthe contractor or design consultants aredetailed below.

    The design and works procurement stagerepresents the key opportunity in a project toconsider and implement waste minimisationpractices, as identified in Section 3.3. It istherefore imperative that due consideration isgiven to designing out waste from the start ofthis phase. Waste minimisation should alsobe an integral item for discussion within thebuilding project team.

    5.0 Design and works procurement stage

    Client Design team Contractor and sub-contractors

    Design and procurement2. Identify key opportunities

    for waste minimisation

    3. Plan waste management by developing a SWMP

    4. Tender and contractual requirements for good

    practice SWMP implementation and

    targeting of Quick Wins

    5. Set targets and Key

    Performance Indicators

    Procurement route

    Design and buildManagement contractingConstruction managementPrivate Public Partnerships

    Traditional procurementmethods

    Role and key responsibility

    Contractor to develop the SWMP, identifylikely quantity of waste streams and developtarget recovery rates.

    Contractor to identify most appropriateconstruction methods and techniques tominimise waste during construction foradoption by the design consultants.

    Design consultants (architect, engineers)responsible for adopting waste minimisationtechniques and considering key elements ofthe SWMP likely waste streams andrecovery potential.

    Procurement type

    Early contractorinvolvement

    No contractordesign input

    Table 5.1 Responsibilities depending on procurement route

    Step 2 Identify key opportunities for waste minimisation

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  • 18 Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    The SWMP should be developed during thedesign stage as it can act as a tool to informthe design process and address the wasteproblem at its source. The SWMP will provideinformation, such as potential waste streamsand their likely quantity, to enable strategicdecisions to be made regarding the designand supply chain. This will allow wasteproduction during different stages ofconstruction to be controlled.

    The key elements of waste management forconsideration at the design stage will be to:

    identify the waste streams (e.g. wood,brick/concrete, soils, plastics etc.) likely tobe produced during construction and/ordemolition to establish the potential forre-use (on or off-site) and recycling;

    identify the most significant opportunitiesto increase reuse and recycling rates(termed Waste Recovery Quick Wins,WRQWs) and the realistic recovery rates see Section 7 for information on WRQWs;

    identify where waste materials can be re-used on-site (for preference) or, wherethis is not possible, see if they can be re-used off-site;

    consider appropriate site practices suchas how waste materials will besegregated, and the measures that will beused for raising site operatives awarenessof waste reduction, reuse and recycling;and

    set out the method for measuring andauditing construction and demolitionwaste.

    There are a number of environmental and sustainability toolsavailable which promote resource efficiency in constructionduring design processes. These include:

    WRAPs Efficient Use of Materials in Regeneration Guidance for delivering cost effective and sustainable designand construction practices through materials resourceefficiency.

    Code for Sustainable Homes A voluntary scheme forassessing new housing but likely to become mandatory in thefuture. Baseline requirement plus additional credits availablefor adopting site waste management plans in accordancewith WRAP/Envirowise

    BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) Amethod for assessing the environmental impacts of newbuildings and refurbishment projects either at design stageor at maintenance and operation stage. Covers offices, retail,schools, industrial, prisons, courts and bespoke

    The Civil Engineering Environmental Quality andAssessment Scheme (CEEQUAL) Assesses all the potentialenvironmental impacts of a project. Appropriate for largeprojects or a portfolio of small projects, and used particularlyfor infrastructure projects.

    NHS Environmental Assessment Tool (NEAT) NEAT aims toidentify the environmental impacts created during operationalactivities of NHS healthcare facilities.

    The ICE Demolition Protocol Describes how demolition andnew build design processes are managed to ensure thatresource efficiency is achieved. Assists the designer andclient in maximising the use of existing building

    SMARTWaste A series of tools to help companies monitorand assess their waste. The information can be useful fordesigners and architects to review design strategies andminimise waste arisings.

    Green Guide to Specification Provides guidance on therelative environmental lifecycle impacts of different elementalspecifications for roofs, walls, floors etc.

    Design for Deconstruction: Principles of Design to FacilitateReuse and Recycling (CIRIA, 2004) Aims to maximise reuseof components and recycling of materials when buildings arewholly or partially deconstructed or demolished. Providesinformation on the principles and strategies of design for newconstruction works, to facilitate their eventual efficient, safeand economic deconstruction so as to optimise reuse andrecycling.

    Step 3 Plan waste management bydeveloping a SWMP

    Box 1: Design and procurement stage information resources

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  • 19Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    Pre-qualification requirementsBefore issuing full tender documentation, it iscost-efficient to identify those potentialcontractors that will support the clientsobjectives for good practice WMM and help todevelop them further. This is achieved as partof the overall prequalification exercise for theproject, in which prospective bidders areasked to demonstrate credentials againstcertain headline criteria.

    As part of this process, the tenderers abilityin the following areas should be evaluated:

    experience of designing and implementinggood practice in site waste management;and

    ability to motivate and specifysubcontractors and waste managementcontractors to deliver the requiredperformance.

    Section 8 includes a suggested question forinclusion in a Pre-Qualification Questionnairewhere applicable.

    Tender documentation and contractualagreementsIt is important to set clear minimumrequirements for good practice WMM in thetender documentation, to which all tendershave to comply. The tender requirements thatare appropriate for a project, regardless ofthe procurement route, where good practiceWMM is an objective are:

    that the contractor sets quantitative KPIsand targets for waste recovery from themost significant waste streams (refer toSection 7 for further information);

    that the contractor commits to continualimprovement targets for waste reduction;

    use of the ICE Demolition Protocol wheredemolition is taking place as part of theproject;

    good practice site waste managementplans implemented in line with DTI andWRAP guidelines that also includes themeasurement of waste generated and thepercentage of waste disposed of atlandfill;

    provide waste quantities, costs anddestination in specified summary format;

    appointment of a supply chain managerduring construction and operation;

    waste management contracts tendered onthe basis of optional prices forsegregation of waste streams andincreased reuse and recycling;

    waste management contractors to reportthe quantities of different waste streamsthey manage, and the split of each wastestream between disposal routes (landfill,reuse, recycling, energy recovery); and

    sub-contractors employed with the sameliability as the main contractor to ensurewaste management requirements are feddown the supply chain.

    It is recommended that the prospectivecontractors in their tenders indicate the likelywaste recovery targets and KPIs that can beachieved on the project given the stage of thedesign. The reason for this is two-fold.Firstly, if the design incorporates goodpractice levels of waste minimisation, therewill be less potential for waste generation on-site and therefore a lower target rate shouldbe adopted accordingly. Secondly, thecontractor is better suited than the client topropose recovery rates based on theirworking practices.

    Waste recovery targets and KPIs will need tobe developed further and agreed with theclient in conjunction with the design teamprior to appointment of the contractor.Section 6.1 provides further information onsetting targets and KPIs by the contractor.

    Step 4 Requirements for goodpractice SWMP implementation and targeting of Quick Wins

    It is important to set clearminimumrequirements for good practice WasteMinimisation and Management

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  • 20 Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    During the construction phase of a project,good practice WMM implemented through aSWMP will have the most impact in terms ofminimising the waste produced and theproportion sent to landfill. This section setsout the measures to achieve good practiceon-site.

    The development of a good practice SWMPand the implementation of it can be adoptedon all sites. However, there is no one size fits all approach because there are certainconstraints that will affect what can beachieved realistically. Table 6.1 identifiesthese key constraints and the measures toadopt in order to overcome them and achievegood practice.

    6.0 Construction stage


    The lack of a contractualobligation may not inducethe contractor to implementgood practice WMM.

    Difficult to find localrecycling markets in rurallocations.

    Fit out projects offer lessopportunities for wasterecovery than new build orrefurbishment projects

    Small sites and high densitysites can limit spaceavailable for segregation of waste.

    Projects with short lead-inperiods, tight programmesand quick construction ratesmay overlook good practice.

    Procurement methods thatdo not significantly penaliseclients for making designchanges can increase levelsof unplanned wastage.

    Achieving Good Practice

    Client and design team to make contractoraware that undertaking more than standardpractice is likely to realise financial savingsand more efficient site operations.

    Ensure the waste management contractorcan provide a cost effective recycling service.

    Identify and focus on those material streamsthat offer Quick Wins see Section 7.

    Target the key waste streams in each projectphase.Place a requirement on the wastemanagement contractor to segregate off-site.Adopt other segregation approaches such assmaller containers at each floor level forhigh-rise city centre projects (for example).

    Identify and plan the key material streamsoffering Quick Wins - see Section 7.Implement the areas of good practice thathave been shown to be most effective onprevious projects.Establish partnerships with wastemanagement contractors to undertakegreater role to remove effort from contractorand sub-contractors.

    Set up a dialogue with the client anddesigners at an early stage so that wastearisings from design changes can beadequately planned. Identify areas in the design that are notsufficiently developed and suggest possiblewaste implications.

    Key constraint

    Lack of a clientrequirement forgood practice

    Site location

    Project type

    Space on-site

    Project timescales

    Contract variations

    Table 6.1 Key constraints to achieving good practice

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  • 21Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    Depending on the procurement route adopted(see Table 5.1), these constraints should beconsidered during the design stage by thedesign team or contractor. The contractorshould then plan in more detail forovercoming these constraints during the pre-construction phase of the project.

    Figure 3.4 shows that most steps fordelivering good practice WMM areundertaken before the project hascommenced construction. This is essential to its delivery.

    For each of the six remaining process steps,this Section describes the activities to becarried out to achieve good practice WMMand best practice WMM. The following key is used:

    Green indicates that the activity must be fully carried out to the same standard by the contractor on all their sites. Amberrepresents where an activity is carried out on some of the sites run by the contractor orwhere the activity is only partially carried out.This will be expanded where relevant for eachprocess step. Red means that the activity isnot carried out on any site by the contractor.

    Standard, good and best practice is shown for each activity. The traffic light key can beused by contractors in two ways: firstly toassess their current company practice andsecondly, to identify the actions required forachieving good practice WMM and then bestpractice WMM as a long-term goal.

    Standard practice represents the currentactivities amongst most constructioncompanies. Therefore, it will be clear toidentify which steps will be necessary to getto good practice WMM. It is worthwhile notingagain that moving towards good practiceWMM does not require a fundamental changein working practice and will in most casesresult in a cost saving.

    Activity carried out thoroughly on all sites

    Activity carried out occasionally or at low levels

    Activity not carried out

    WasteMinimisation and Managementdoes not requirea fundamentalchange inworking practice

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  • 22 Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    reuse of materials on site - particularlyrelevant where large-scale demolition isincluded; and

    reduction in tonnage of waste per unit ofconstruction activity (evaluated as acontinuous improvement target) - if thedesigner and contractor identify specificareas to be targeted for improvement,such as recycling of plasterboard andreduction in packaging waste, thenspecific targets can be agreed in theseareas. It is also possible to compare totalwaste quantities against the wastebenchmark maintained by ConstructingExcellence (i.e. the amount of wasteincluding extracted material, demolitionwaste etc) in m2 removed from site duringthe construction process per 100,000 ofproject value.

    The measurement of percentage recoveryKPIs enables the broad performance ofprojects to be compared between projects byclients and contractors. Performanceindicators and benchmarks being developedby BRE under the SMARTWaste scheme willallow projects to be compared with industrybenchmarks in the future.

    Good practice WMM requires the contractorto establish and agree targets using KPIs forthe recovery of materials from the wastestream based on, for example, the Quick Winrecovery rates identified by WRAP in Section7. Meeting these targets and KPIs willbecome a contractual obligation for the maincontractor and sub-contractor and will enablethe performance of the project to bemonitored during the construction phase.

    To meet best practice WMM, targets can bebased on specific KPIs developed by thecontractor once the lessons learnt fromprevious project reviews have been embeddedwithin the company. This allows thecontractor to demonstrate continuedperformance in the area of wastemanagement which has wider businessbenefits.

    The following types of target and KPIs,expressed in percentage terms, can beestablished:

    recovery of waste materials for reuseand recycling - different target levels maybe appropriate for different stages ofconstruction, such as demolition, newbuild, fit-out and refurbishment;

    Setting targets Standard Good Best

    Targets based on standard industry KPIs

    Targets based on internally developed KPIs

    6.1 Pre-Construction

    Contractor and sub-contractors

    Construction9. Monitor

    waste management

    Pre-construction5. Set targets

    and Key Performance


    6. Define responsibilities and contracts

    7. Identify waste arisings, reuse and recycling


    8. Site design and training

    Step 5 Set targets and Key Performance Indicators

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  • 23Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    It should be standard practice for anindividual to be designated with responsibilityfor the SWMP. For good practice WMM, theindividual responsible for the SWMP will alsobe assigned some further responsibilitiesassociated with waste, but this will stop shortof having a waste champion. Under bestpractice WMM, there will be a clearlydesignated waste champion or environmentalco-ordinator which will hold overallresponsibility for waste management. Therole includes co-ordinating all waste orenvironmental issues on-site from waste datato identifying training needs. Sites with awaste champion tend to perform better inmanaging waste.

    As sub-contractors usually generate thewaste during construction, good practiceWMM requires them to engage with theSWMP process and to be contractuallyobliged to manage waste accordingly wherepossible. Incentives for waste segregationand penalties for waste contamination alsomotivate behaviour.

    When appointing a waste managementcontractor, consideration should be given totheir waste recovery performance, servicedelivery, provision of suitable equipment andadvice given.

    Duty of Care Standard Good Best

    Documentation showing compliance with legal requirements

    Responsibility for waste management

    One person designated as overall waste champion

    Responsibility for individual areas designated to individuals

    Waste management contractors

    Dialogue to establish opportunities for recycling

    Contractual agreements with high recycling levels; partnerships


    Agreements with sub-contractors on how to manage waste

    Contractual agreements with set targets and regular reviews

    Step 6 Responsibilities and contracts

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  • 24 Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    The identification of waste arisings and theirsubsequent management is the core of theSWMP. It is important to establish which work package will generate the waste, anestimation of quantities, the waste owner, the waste management method and anycontrol measures.

    Section 7 provides further information onthose materials that can potentially offerwaste recovery Quick Wins for reuse andrecycling on a range of projects. Planning forQuick Wins involves planning ahead in termsof how behaviour (segregation, bin size,collection frequency etc) should change fordifferent project phases.

    Identification of waste arisings and disposal routes Standard Good Best

    Listed in the SWMP before site work commences

    Opportunities for recycling/reuse identified prior to construction

    Waste minimisation included in the design; prefabrication etc

    Reuse of materials

    Inert materials

    Concrete, soils and inert materials on and off-site

    Reuse area on site for all materials

    Recycling of materials

    Metals and high value materials

    Timber, plasterboard, packaging and inert

    Take-back schemes with suppliers for materials, packaging etc

    Site design, storage and logistics Standard Good Best

    Layout and skip location considered at design / planning stage

    Separate containers for hazardous waste

    Containers optimised for segregation with clear labels and signs

    Segregated containers at workface; use of compacters, balers

    Clearly located and defined storage areas for materials

    Just in time delivery, secure storage areas, no double handling

    Training of workforce

    General information on waste in site induction and toolbox talks

    Specific training for on-site environmental issues for key staff

    Feedback welcomed with relevant incentives


    Step 7 Waste arisings, reuse and recycling

    Step 8 Site design and training

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  • Under good practice WMM, it should be theaim to obtain data for the amount and type of waste generated to compare against theestimated quantities identified during thedevelopment of the SWMP. Waste measurementcan include cost, type of waste, amount byvolume and tonnage, reason for generationand management route. The actual wastequantities obtained should be compared withthe initial targets to identify if the site isunder-performing and whether correctiveaction is required to get back on track. TheSMARTWaste auditing tool may be used as ameans of logging and generating data.

    For good practice WMM, monitoring willoccur throughout the project although not ona regular basis. Under best practice WMM,monitoring and measurement of waste willbe ongoing with regular interpretation toidentify trends and rectify wasteful practices.The results from monitoring waste arisingsshould be included in weekly or monthly site meetings.

    25Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    Space permitting, key waste streams shouldbe segregated. Good practice WMM involvessegregating timber, plasterboard andpackaging in addition to general waste, inertwaste, mixed metals and hazardous waste.The segregation scheme should includeappropriate training, monitoring andenforcement with clear signage and using theNational Colour Coding Scheme.

    Materials should be stored in designatedstorage areas to protect from damage. Bestpractice WMM would be to adopt just-in-time delivery to remove all risk of accidentalor malicious damage.

    It is good practice WMM to presentinformation on the SWMP during theinduction process and toolbox talks. Toolboxtalks are ideal to regularly communicatechanges to waste management proceduresthroughout the project.

    Moving towards best practice WMM requiresspecific training for key internal staff toenable them to train others and gatheringfeedback from site personnel to better informthe SWMP.

    6.2 Construction

    Client Design team Contractor and sub-contractors

    Report outcomes and

    Quick Wins

    Report outcomes and

    Quick Wins



    9. Monitor waste


    10. Review performance of the SWMP and lessons


    Monitoring Standard Good Best

    Skip costs monitored, action taken if too high

    Skip costs and volume data from waste management contractor

    Use of auditing tool such as SMARTWaste

    Regular monitoring of volume/tonnage with reviews for action

    Step 9 Monitoring waste management

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  • 26 Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    During the implementation of the SWMP on aproject, its overall performance in managingwaste should be reviewed at least periodicallythroughout the project to ensure that it isworking effectively and so that any anomaliescan be addressed.

    A final review of implementing the SWMPonce the project is completed is essential toensure that any lessons learnt are identifiedand addressed in future projects. It is betterpractice however for the lessons learnt to beembedded within the company. Embeddingproject experience at the company levelincludes:

    producing generic company-wide SWMPtemplates;

    integration of SWMPs with existing plansand procedures;

    comparing performance and setting on-going benchmarks and targets forwaste; and

    the gradual development of a bespokeSWMP format and procedures over themedium to long term.

    By embedding the lessons learnt, theimplementation of SWMPs will become moreeffective and efficient requiring lowerresource requirements. This will translateinto increased cost savings due to a reductionin labour costs associated with developingand implementing the SWMP. IncorporatingSWMPs into the culture of a company can beused to illustrate a company-widecommitment to best practice WMM for animproved reputation with clients.

    6.3 Post Construction

    Performance review Standard Good Best

    Periodic review of performance, final review at project level

    Regular review during project, lessons embedded in company

    Client Design team Contractor and sub-contractors

    Report outcomes and

    Quick Wins

    Report outcomes and

    Quick Wins



    9. Monitor waste


    10. Review performance of the SWMP and lessons


    Step 10 Review performance of the SWMP and lessons learnt

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  • 27Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    Box 2 Construction stage information resources

    There are many resources available to assist withimplementing SWMPs on-site and resource efficiency inconstruction.


    NetRegs Free advice on environmental legislation relatingto the construction sector with regular

    Waste Management

    WRAP How to Guides For Site and Environment managers,with advice and guidance on how to segregate, reuse andrecycle different

    SALVO Information on the reclamation sector, includingmaterials and products arising from refurbishment/demolition and a materials information

    BREMAP Provides lists and maps of waste managementfacilities based on location.

    Construction Recycling Sites Database of construction-related recycling sites that accept or sell

    National Colour Coding Scheme Templates and furtherinformation for the colour coding scheme for skips onconstruction sites.

    Trade Contractors

    Envirowise Environmental fact sheets for labourers,carpenters, bricklayers.


    SMARTWaste Details of waste measurement tools and pre-demolition audits.

    National Construction Waste Benchmarking Free websiteto submit data and produce benchmarks for construction,refurbishment and demolition

    Material Specific

    AggRegain Use to find suppliers of recycled aggregates,case studies on the use of recycled and secondaryaggregates and specifications.

    Recycle Wood Lists wood recyclers and suppliers ofrecycled wood products.

    Community Wood Recycling Lists organisations that willaccept wood waste using social

    Community RePaint Accept certain types of

    Windows Recycling your window waste a good practiceguide.

    Recovinyl Provides financial support for the collection ofPVC waste.

    Packaging Envirowise guidance Managing packaging wasteon your construction site (GG606).

    Plasterboard Case studies on the segregation, collectionand recycling of waste

    Hazred Working with small companies includingconstruction to reduce hazardous waste.


    WRAP Helps deliver Government targets for constructionwaste by developing standards and requirements, gettingthese adopted by construction clients, and supportinginvestment in waste recovery infrastructure. Free advice,guidance, tools and case studies for addressing resourceefficiency at all stages of the construction

    Envirowise Free advice, support, guidance and case studiesfor implementing SWMPs.

    CoRE Provides free access to waste measurement tools forconstruction projects in the East, South East and Londonregions.

    BRE Manage SMARTWaste and provide advice, tools,guidance on construction resource

    C4S Provides research and consultancy on constructionresource efficiency and sustainable

    Construction Excellence Information, case studies andtools for sustainable

    CIRIA Information, guidance, research and case studiesrelating to waste management in construction.

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  • 28 Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    7.1 What are Quick Wins?The previous sections have described how akey component of the SWMP is to identifywhich waste streams can be targeted toreduce waste. On any project, there arecertain key waste streams that can offersignificant savings if good practice levels ofrecovery are met.

    By implementing good practice Quick Winson three to four of the key waste streams onany project (typically those which occur in thelargest quantities), there is potential toincrease overall recycling rates ofconstruction waste from standard industryperformance by more than 20%.

    Definition of a Quick WinA Waste Recovery Quick Win (WRQW) is an improvement in recovery (re-use orrecycling) for a specific construction waste material, applicable on a range ofconstruction projects, which will deliver a higher rate of recovery than standardpractice without increasing costs andpreferably with a cost saving.

    Delivering Quick WinsParticular materials will lend themselves to arange of alternative recovery practices(relative to current practice), dependant onwhether they are:

    produced in sufficient quantities to makethe operating costs of the recoverypractice economically attractive;

    easily segregated on-site;

    significantly higher in value as asegregated waste compared to mixedwaste; and

    produced in a locality where reprocessingoptions for those materials are readilyavailable.

    In practical terms, the WRQWs will beidentified through discussion between clientsand their construction supply chain (includinglocal waste management contractors) todetermine the economics and performancelevels of alternative recovery practices. Thiswill depend on site-specific parameters suchas availability of reprocessing facilities,transport distances, quantities of materialsand capacity for on/off site wastesegregation.

    Cost-effective material recoveryThe extent to which material can berecovered in a cost-effective way isdetermined by the amount of effort andnature of the technology utilised. In practice,the factors which influence these WRQWs willinclude:

    waste recovery infrastructure the localavailability of waste recovery infrastructure(e.g. the presence of a company able toreceive plasterboard, for instance, fromdemolition and/or construction projects, foronward recycling)6;

    gate fees the gate fee charged formaterial accepted at landfill sites, exemptsites and reprocessing facilities; and thevalue gained from the sale of segregatedwaste materials where applicable;

    project baseline the baselineperformance on waste recovery from whichthe project is starting from;

    site type the location and spaceconstraints of the site; and

    time the programme and resourceconstraints of the project.

    7.0 Waste Recovery Quick Wins

    6 Publicly available directories of construction-relatedrecycling sites are availablefrom WRAP(,BREMAP ( the CIRIA database(

    There is potentialto increaseoverall recyclingrates by morethan 20%

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  • 29Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    Project type and phaseWRQWs are achievable across a range of project types whether new build,refurbishment or fit-out. This covers allsectors including residential, offices, retail,industrial and infrastructure.

    Similarly, WRQWs will be available across allphases of the construction process. Thespecific material WRQWs may changebetween the following main project phases:

    Site clearance, preparations andunderground services (e.g. demolition,remediation, bulk earthworks, utilities andfoundations).

    Structural phase (e.g. frame, walls, roofs,floors, cladding).

    Internal phase (e.g. internal walls,plastering and Mechanical & Electrical(M&E) plant).

    Fit out (e.g. doors, suspended ceilings,bathroom suites and tiling, carpets andflooring, electrics).

    External works (e.g. roads, pavements,hard and soft landscaping).

    7.2 Standard, good and best practiceperformance benchmarks

    Standard, Quick Win and Best Practicerecovery rates have been established for a range of materials, as summarised in Table 7.1. The recovery rates shown in thetable are for total waste recovery, both on-site and off-site.

    Material Standard Good Practice Best Practice Recovery % Quick Win % Recovery %

    Timber 57 90 95

    Metals 95 100 100

    Plasterboard 30 90 95

    Packaging 60 85 95

    Ceramics 75 85 100

    Concrete 75 95 100

    Inert 75 95 100

    Plastics 60 80 95

    Miscellaneous 12 50 75

    Electrical equipment Limited information 70* 95

    Furniture 0-15 25 50

    Insulation 12 50 75

    Cement Limited information 75 95

    Liquids and oils 100 100 100

    Hazardous 50 Limited information** Limited information**

    Table 7.1 Standard, Good and Best Practice recovery rates by material

    * This is a required recovery target for the type of WEEE likely to be produced from construction sites. e.g. lighting (the WEEE regulations,Jan 2007).

    ** This cannot be 100% as much hazardous waste (e.g. asbestos) must be land filled.

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  • 30 Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    The typical WRQWs for a range of projects,given their quantities of waste and theincrease in recovery rate from standard togood practice, are timber, plasterboard and packaging. These will mainly apply to the structural, internal and fit-out phases of a project.

    Timber recovery Identified as a keyopportunity at the structural phase becauseof the quantity of form-work and shutteringproduced. The nature of this material, interms of its bulk, potential to recycle and thequantity of arising, makes it a WRQW andstrategic opportunity to target and managethrough adopting segregated wastemanagement approaches.

    Packaging and plasterboard Throughcareful targeting and management, thesematerials represent major opportunities forimproved levels of waste recovery in theregion of 90% recovery of plasterboard can bedelivered (excluding demolition).Plasterboard is a key waste arising from theinternal phase, and packaging likewise forboth internal and fit-out phases.

    It is worth noting however, that these WRQWsmay not be the best opportunities on allprojects. It is therefore important that on anyproject under consideration, all wastestreams are considered for their WRQWpotential.

    7.3 Financial benefit of Quick WinsWRQWs can potentially achieve significantcost savings in addition to environmentalbenefits. Identifying, targeting and deliveringWRQWs, framed by an effective site wastemanagement plan, can deliver real financialbenefits.

    To demonstrate this, Table 7.2 shows thatsavings could be achieved for a 150 millioncity centre development incorporating retail,commercial, leisure and residential byimplementing WRQWs for a range ofmaterials above current practice. The goodand best practice recovery rates shown in thetable are specific to the project used in thisexample. The reference recovery ratesincluded in Table 7.1 should be used whensetting targets and not those below.

    Waste RecoveryQuick Wins can potentiallyachievesignificant cost savings

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  • 31Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    Material Practice Project Savings

    Recycling Rate Tonnes Potential(with source Diverted from Cost Savingssegregation) Landfill

    Concrete Current 0% 0 0Good 70% 575 27,200Best 100% 822 38,800

    Metal Current 0% 0 0Good 93% 176 14,300Best 100% 189 15,400

    Timber Current 0% 0 0Good 70% 120 15,100Best 90% 155 19,400

    Packaging Current 0% 0 0Good 60% 122 33,800Best 95% 194 53,600

    Excavated soil Current Current Practice Good 95% 84,075 saving Best 168,200

    Canteen waste Current 0% 0 0Good 30% 44 3,000Best 80% 118 7,900

    Plasterboard Current 0%Good 80% n/a n/aBest 100%

    Current Practice 84,075 168,200SUMMARY Good Practice SavingTOTAL (above current practice) 1,037 93,400

    Best Practice Savings(above good practice)

    441 41,700

    Table 7.2 Summary of WRQWs and their potential cost savings for a case study project

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  • 32 Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    This section provides a family of goodpractice WMM requirements that can be usedin generic corporate policy statements,project briefs and prequalification processes,and subsequently in tender, appointment andcontractual processes for traditional anddesign and build procurement processes.Figure 8.1 shows how this wording relates todifferent stages of both traditional and designand build procurement processes.

    Organisations wishing to set a requirementfor good practice WMM are encouraged tomake use of this model wording and insert asappropriate in their documentation andprocesses. There is significant overlapbetween the wording proposed for thedifferent forms of procurement, andcomprehensive information is provided foreach process resulting in some unavoidablerepetition of information.

    8.0 Model clauses for procurement

    Project stage Available wording


    Briefing / pre-qualification



    Partnering frameworks

    Policy statements

    Project briefs

    Contractor pre-qualification

    Design team pre-qualification

    Framework agreement

    Design and build

    Traditional procurement

    Appointment of team

    Employers requirements

    Contract clauses

    Tender specifications/


    Figure 8.1 Procurement steps at which model wording can be applied

    Use of the model wording

    Users are referred to the Disclaimer at theback of this guidance document. The modelclauses are not intended to replace standardTerms and Conditions of Contract. They areintended for use as part of the clientsspecification of the works that define therequired output and performance, alongsideother clauses on sustainability such asminimum performance on energy and waterefficiency. Any organisation or other personshould take their own legal, financial andother relevant professional advice whenconsidering the use of the model clauses inany procurement process.

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  • 33Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    8.1 Policy statementHere is a sample of the kind of statement thatcan be used in environmental or procurementpolicies to signal intention and provide amandate for action:

    If there is also a project requirement forrecycled content, the statement can bephrased as follows:

    8.2 Project information / briefsWhere the client sets a high-level brief to thedesign team or contractor (in the case of designand build and PFI processes), the followingwording can be included to define the overallobjectives and requirements for environmentalperformance thereby providing the mandatefor appropriate technical solutions to be offered:

    Under general design objectives, the followingtext is appropriate:

    Alongside information on energy efficiency,water efficiency and other environmentalperformance criteria, the following text can beused to describe aims for materials resourceefficiency:

    In all of ourdevelopmentwork, our aim isto minimise anyadverse impactsthat constructionhas on theenvironment

    As part of its commitment to sustainableconstruction, [Organisation name] aims toimprove its efficiency in the use of materialresources. One targeted outcome is tocontinuously reduce the quantity of wastearising and increase the recovery ofmaterials for reuse and recycling on allconstruction projects. Therefore, in itsprocurement, [Organisation name] will setrequirements for its projects to incorporategood practice waste minimisationtechniques and to plan and implement goodpractice waste management and recovery in accordance with WRAP guidance.

    In all of our development work, our aim isto minimise any adverse impacts thatconstruction has on the environment. Weseek this through the design process,materials selection, constructiontechniques and operational methods. Allorganisations appointed to work on ourbehalf are required to work in accordancewith these principles. Specific informationon our environmental policy is set out in[Insert reference to the relevant documenton this topic], to which all consultants andcontractors appointed on our projects areexpected to conform.

    In respect of the efficient use ofmaterials, our aim is to minimise theconsumption of finite natural resourcesand to minimise the quantity of wastebeing sent to landfill sites. Therefore, asgeneral design principles, we seek thefollowing where commercially viable (inaccordance with the waste hierarchy):

    efficient design and stock control tominimise the use and waste ofmaterials;

    re-use and refurbishment of existinginfrastructure;

    use of reclaimed products and materials;

    Use of renewable materials from legaland sustainable sources (such astimber with appropriate certification);

    waste minimisation on site;

    recycling of construction, demolitionand excavation waste; and

    As part of its commitment to sustainableconstruction, [Organisation name] aims toimprove its efficiency in the use of materialresources. Two targeted outcomes are to:

    exceed a threshold proportion of re-used and recycled inputs in the productsand materials used on constructionprojects. Minimum requirements willtherefore be set by [Organisation name]for re-used and recycled content as apercentage of the value of materialsused on a project, and seek the adoptionof cost-neutral improvements; and

    continuously reduce the quantity ofwaste arising and increase the recoveryof materials for reuse and recycling onall construction projects. Minimumrequirements will therefore be set by[Organisation name] for its projects toincorporate good practice wasteminimisation techniques and to planand implement good practice wastemanagement and recovery inaccordance with WRAP guidance.Further guidance on recycled contentcan be found particular, guidance entitled Setting aRequirement for Recycled Content in theProcurement of Construction Projects.

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  • 34 Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    Where there is a specific outcome for good practice waste minimisation andmanagement, it can be phrased as follows7:

    8.3 Pre-qualification Assessment of capacity and competence torespond to a requirement for good practiceWMM should be included in pre-qualificationprocesses for all parties involved in deliveringa project (e.g. designers, contractors, sub-contractors and consultants). Generallyspeaking, information on ability to reducewastage and increase recovery of materialsshould be included alongside otherinformation on environmental performancecriteria for the project, such as recycledcontent in construction projects.

    It is expected that pre-qualification processeswill include a questionnaire (PQQ) and may be followed by an interview to explore issues in more depth. If the issue of wastemanagement is to be raised during a supplierinterview, it is good practice to flag up itsimportance by including it within the PQQ,thereby providing an opportunity for suppliersto prepare a response.

    Following are some examples of PQQs whichmight be suitable for different members of anorganisation or project-specific supply chain.They are followed by guidance on how tointerpret different responses and pursue the matter further at interview.

    8.3.1 Designers, contractors, sub-contractors and consultantsPrequalification question:

    Although it is clearly of benefit for theprofessional consultants to have a goodunderstanding of good practice WMM, it is ofmost importance if the designers, contractorsand sub-contractors are able to implementgood practice WMM and identify wasterecovery Quick Wins. Therefore, they shouldbe able to demonstrate an appropriateawareness and working knowledgeaccordingly, such as the WRAP guidance.

    7 A specific outcome for the use of materials with recycled contentshould be set here also where applicable refer to the WRAPguidance on Setting a Requirement for Recycled Content in theProcurement of Construction Projects.

    Procurement of products and materialswith good practice levels of recycledcontent (relative to other productsmeeting the same specification).

    These objectives should be pursued whileavoiding adverse impact on cost, quality orother requirements in this brief, andminimising transport (especially roadtransport of heavy materials) where feasible.

    Does your company have the skills andexperience to implement good practicewaste minimisation and management inaccordance with WRAP guidance duringthe design and/or construction phase?see

    As a minimum, we require a Site WasteManagement Plan (SWMP) to bedeveloped from the pre-design stage toinform the adoption of good practice wasteminimisation in design, and for the SWMPto be implemented in all construction siteactivities in line with good practicepublished by WRAP. The Plan is requiredto set targets for waste reduction andrecovery based on an assessment of thelikely composition and quantity of wastearisings and identification of the mostsignificant cost-effective options forimprovement (Quick Wins). This should besupplemented by information on how thetargets will be achieved duringconstruction activities and how the actuallevels of waste reduction and recovery willbe monitored for comparison with thetargets set.

    The applicable Quick Wins will need to bedetermined following analysis of thespecific project, but they are likely toinclude timber, plasterboard andpackaging. Other recovery opportunitiesmay exist for the following waste streams:

    Resources for identifying Quick Wins withminimum effort are available



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  • 35Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    Should any party fail to respond appropriatelyto the question, it may be appropriate to referthat party to WRAPs resources, making itclear that ability to address this issue wouldbe a necessary component of successfullymeeting the contract requirements.

    If a specific design team member orcontractor is identified to take overallresponsibility for delivering good practiceWMM, it is particularly important that thisindividual has a good grounding in theprocesses described in this guidance.

    If an interview stage is included, questionscould check the specific skills and knowledgelevels required by each type of consultant.Whilst it is important that all consultants andcontractors understand the issue of goodpractice WMM, specific skills are required by certain roles. For example, the designershould have a good working knowledge ofwaste minimisation methods in design and beable to begin the development of the SWMP.Similarly, the contractor should demonstrateexperience of operating a SWMP in line withpublished good practice, and know how tomanage subcontractors and waste serviceproviders to deliver the required data and site practices.

    Identified below are some model questions tobe included in the interview guidance:

    These questions encourage the respondent toexpand upon and be specific about the skillsand knowledge which they possess.

    8.3.2 Waste management contractorsThe contractor or sub-contractors shouldobtain performance information from theirwaste management contractors beingconsidered for a project prior to appointment.Examples of the prequalification questionsthat can be asked are:

    If the waste management contractor cannotsufficiently answer the above two questionsfor example, it may then be appropriate toask in what ways could you help achieve theclients objective for good practice wasterecovery? This will identify whether thewaste management contractor can potentiallywork in partnership with the contractor orsub-contractor on the project.

    8.4 Tender specifications, contracts andappointmentsThe key requirement at this stage is to set outclearly what is expected of the design teamand main contractor and how they willdemonstrate that they have fulfilled their rolein meeting the requirement for good practiceWMM8. The requirements are formulated indifferent ways for traditional procurementversus design and build, in order to set outresponsibilities clearly.

    8.4.1 Traditional procurementUnder the traditional procurement process,the client is involved in separate tenderingand appointment processes for the designteam and for the contractor. As a result, thereare two phases of appointment into which therequirement for good practice WMM shouldbe incorporated first the designer and thenthe contractor.

    8 This will sit alongside requirements (where applicable) for the useof materials with recycled content refer to the WRAP guidanceon Setting a Requirement for Recycled Content in theProcurement of Construction Projects.

    1. Which good practice WMM processesdo you think are applicable to thisproject and why?

    2. What knowledge and experience doyou have in developing and/orimplementing site waste managementplans to good practice levels onconstruction projects?

    3. What is your experience in settingwaste recovery targets, measuringwaste streams on-site andimplementing review processes?

    1. Does you company audit and monitorits performance on reuse and recycling of individual waste streams?

    2. How have you worked in partnershipwith contractors and/or sub-contractors to measure quantities ofspecific waste streams for individualprojects to help achieve high levels ofwaste recovery?

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  • 36 Achieving good practice Waste Minimisation and Management

    Appointment of designersThe design team has a key role in ensuringthat good practice is adopted (if requested bythe client). They are responsible for thefollowing:

    implementing cost-efficient methods ofwaste minimisation for the project duringthe design stage;

    identifying possible Quick Wins for wastereduction and recovery, reviewing any

    With respect to t