A Site Waste Management Plan (SWMP) can go a long way to reducing the amount of waste produced on construction sites and, with the services of a professional waste management company, may even enable a project to achieve zero-to-landfill status.
While SWMPs are no longer compulsory for construction projects in England, they are considered an environmentally responsible, Best Practice initiative between the main contractor and the client. This is because the construction industry is the largest consumer of resources (over 400 million tonnes of materials every year) and also the largest contributor of landfill waste (32%). It is even estimated that around 13% of materials delivered to sites can end up in landfill without ever having been used.
What is a Site Waste Management Plan?
Essentially an SWMP outlines how commercial waste materials will be managed efficiently and disposed of legally, including how opportunities to re-use and recycle materials will be maximised.
Preparing a plan involves estimating the amount of waste that is likely to be produced and the proportion that will be re-used or recycled on site, or removed from the site for re-use, recycling, recovery or disposal.
What steps should I take to create a Site Waste Management Plan?
Here are the key steps to creating an SWMP:
- Provide details of the project’s location, the contractors and sub-contractors involved, etc.
- Estimate the types and quantities of waste that you expect your project to produce
- Record how you intend to minimise waste. The are four ways to handle waste:
- Reuse – later in the project or on other projects
- Recycle – for example, crushing material from the demolition stage of a project to use as aggregate
- Recover – for example, bricks and non-ferrous metal
- Dispose – to landfill
- Once work is underway, record each time waste is either transported off-site or handled on-site
- On completion, evaluate the plan
At every stage in your project you should generate reports to track your progress and check that you are maximising the profitability of your waste handling.
Alternatively look at contracting an end-to-end waste management service that will take all the hassle away from you, by removing all your waste from site, sift and sort it for re-use and recycling, and turn the rest into green energy.