New project looks to boost construction waste targets

A new project to reduce construction waste has been launched in Wales by Constructing Excellence in Wales (CEW), the Welsh Government sponsored organisation.

The ‘Enabling Zero Waste’ project will work with four specially selected pilot schemes across Wales to identify ways that construction and demolition projects can generate less waste, reuse materials and use more recycled content.

The aim is to establish if, and how, the construction industry can achieve the overarching strategy for waste in Wales of zero waste to landfill.

The new project was launched by Alun Davies, minister for natural resources and food, who said:
“The construction and demolition sectors in Wales are achieving high recycling and re-use rates already and I congratulate them on their success.

“However the sector still has more to do to reach our 2025 goal of zero waste to landfill. Landfill is costly and rethinking waste can bring benefits to businesses; this project will explore how the industry can go further to reduce waste and help us move towards a circular economy in Wales.”

CEW will work in collaboration with four live construction sites to offer practical intervention to the construction project and site teams to explore viable solutions for achieving zero waste.

These were selected after an industry wide recruitment process, and are:

· Care Home, Newport (Castleoak Care Partnerships Ltd)

· Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea (John Weaver Contractors Ltd)

· Ice Arena Wales, Cardiff Bay (Kier Construction)

· Millbank Primary School, Ely, Cardiff (WRW Construction Ltd)

The chosen schemes will be supported with practical assistance on all aspects of waste management from concept to completion. This will provide the basis for identifying, managing and documenting each type of waste, the possible options and available solutions, together with finding the root cause.

On site advice will be provided by an external waste consultant from BQMC, who will be on hand to help overcome obstacles and provide hard evidence to change perceptions about waste management possibilities and impact on culture and behaviour.

Paul Jennings, director of the Construction Waste Programme at CEW said: “In 2010 CEW was closely involved in the preparation of the Towards Zero Waste strategy and the accompanying construction sector plan, which identified a range of recommendations and actions for the industry. We are therefore delighted to be involved in launching and implementing this new project, which aims to help Wales to set an example for the rest of the world.”

“The latest figures released by the Welsh Government suggest that we are already moving in the right direction, with 87 per cent of construction and demolition waste now being recycled. However, there is still much work to be done to reach the initial target for 90 per cent or more of the waste generated across every material waste stream in the construction and demolition sectors in Wales to be re-used or recycled by 2019/2020.”

CEW is implementing the latest technology to carry out this project, including photography drones and design modelling.

A drone from Cardiff-based Heli-Eye is being used at various points throughout the project to easily and quickly capture aerial images, whilst Arup and Gillard Associates will be using BIM modelling to look at how design changes might affect reductions in waste.

As all four schemes are already designed most of the changes will be hypothetical and intended to inform the learning process for future schemes.

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