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Waste of Resources G#1562 N#1501

By 12 July 2014November 22nd, 2018Uncategorized


Waste of Resources

Waste of Resources

Waste of Resources:

  • Material efficiency and waste
  • Waste management in use
  • Waste Hierarchies
  • Other waste hierarchies
  • Construction Demolition & Excavation Waste: Facts & Figures



  • Design to reuse second hand reclaimed materials: find the materials then design the building around them
  • E.g. Steel in Doncaster’s Earth Centre Roofs, by Bill Dunster
  • The total CO2 created by making materials for a building can be reduced by reuse and recycling materials
  • Avoid materials that downcycle as opposed to recycle: e.g. PVC’s properties change in reprocessing so Virgin PVC must be used or recycled PVC has limited application
  • Steel normally contains a high percentage of scrap added in smelting process and can be reprocessed into same grade of steel
  • Design to minimise waste: acknowledge the manufacturing size when designing components and assemblies
  • Acknowledge brick sizes when designing wall lengths, same applies to blockwork and timber constructions
  • Ensure the design of a building accommodates easy storage of separate recyclate, easy composting routes (e.g. direct exit from kitchen worktop to external composting system for organic green waste)
  • Design for low cost, efficient deconstruction


  • Compatibility of material mix, to increase quality of ‘deconstructed’ materials for re-use or recycling purposes
  • Avoid polymer migration between plastics
  • Minimise use of composites that are difficult to separate, this applied to packaging too

Deconstruct not demolition:

  • Assemble steel framed building with clamps and bolts in preference to welding; this permits a degree of off-site prefabrication and simple on-site work
  • Assemble timber buildings with bolts, screws and other fasteners in preference to nailing and adhesives
  • Assemble with locational methods of assembly, e.g. Insulation squeeze insert release
  • Assemble using ballast in preference to fastenings and adhesives to allow the building to be deconstructed, and components to be used again. E.g. waterproof membranes
  • Design for deconstruction and reuse: avoid welding, adhesives and nails; use, clamping, bolting, ballast and screws
  • Enable product-purchase to become function-purchase – e.g. very low cost leasing of mechanical or electrical systems and heating appliances; maintains optimum efficiencies and therefore lower carbon emissions through appropriate servicing, and reduces capital costs, enabling operational savings to pay for higher cost of environmentally-better equipment


  • See R31 for more detail
  • Waste segregation at the kitchen sink
  • EcoHomes: Minimum 3 bins: under kitchen sink and 3 bins outside
  • Compostable, Recyclable & Waste
  • Waste segregation bins and temporary storage
  • Composting for soil improvement
  • Vertical home grown food
  • Offsite segregation is possible with the right partnering, at segregation and bulking sites


  • Waste Hierarchies: Establishment definition (Pre-2011)
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover

Waste Hierarchy

  • If rejected, find a ways to reuse it
  • if rejected, find a way to recycle it
  • Incinerate to recover energy
  • Landfill

Waste Hierarchy
NGS definition/the ideal

  • Refuse, Reject, Return, Redesign, Reduce, ReSpec, Reuse, Reclaim, Retain, Recycle, Recover


  • Refuse unnecessary, excessive, complex or all packaging and protection
  • Under the Packaging Producer Responsibility Act the manufacturer is responsible for dealing with waste packaging
  • either directly or by others at their expense
  • Segregate it and require it to be collected by the producer after installation/practical completion


  • Supply chain management:
  • Partnering can offer opportunities to demand a better service from manufacturers
  • Reduction in packaging
  • Reconsideration of pallet packing
  • Adequate protection and no more
  • Return of all packaging to source


  • Ensure all deliveries are checked
  • Reject defective material
  • Return rejects to supplier/manufacturer for them to be replaced with merchantable quality
  • Defective materials should be returned to supplier/manufacturer, they may salvage materials and reuse them
  • Let them foot the waste removal bill and not the site


  • Sale or return ensures over ordered and unused materials can be taken back into stock if unused
  • Take-back schemes provide waste containers or skips for collection of scraps and return to manufacture to reuse as raw materials
  • Schemes are emerging to return materials to manufacturer, at low cost
  • Courier companies in a hurry delivering packages return empty, offering slow returns of goods to source
  • Damaged or waste materials can be returned to manufacturer with multiple deliveries
  • Packaging Producer Responsibility Regulations make it possible to send packaging back to manufacturers
  • Better still for them to collect it

Redesign to reduce

  • Reduce off-cuts by designing to manufactured sizes
  • Walter Segal’s Segal Method used 8×4 sheets and 4×2 and 8×2 timbers
  • No waste, only cutting to length and drilling

Reduce Demand

  • Don’t over design structure
  • Except if long design life demands it
  • Don’t oversize
  • Don’t cut L from rectangle use two rectangles to make it
  • Reduce quantity of materials, energy, etc. used and wasted

Respecify to Reduce Rejects

  • CONSIDER lowering standards to reduce rejection rate
  • natural materials have natural variations: select logs don’t reject final products
  • Quality rejects or offcuts from “for sale” might go into “for rent”
  • damaged face used in hidden face


  • No changes occur to the materials reused in exactly the same form
  • Bricks reused as bricks (lime mortar removed)
  • Lime is reusable
  • Doors reused as doors (some repairs required)


  • materials for reuse in new works, e.g
  • Off cuts reused as blocking and props in timber framing


  • Salvage and reuse of demolition and construction materials
  • Methods of assessment or test of materials
  • Softwood timbers for use in timber studwork
  • Salvage inspection chamber covers and frames
  • Recycled materials
  • Downcycled materials
  • Upcycled materials


  • Retain unused materials for Reuse/Repair
  • Snagging at end of job
  • Defects Liability Period Repairs
  • Employers FM in maintenance/repair
  • Sheets of flooring from same batch
  • Pots of paint from same batch
  • Spares for components


  • Properties of material do not change can be recycled as same materials
  • Metals recycled as Metals
  • (fine chemical corrections are part of normal production)
  • Can the project make use of any existing redundant materials?
  • Can the Employer (Client) make use of the materials on site/campus?
  • Grub up brickwork inspection chamber and ground floor and foundations and reduce for hardcore


  • Reduction in properties often occurs in plastics
  • Can’t be used in original form
  • Relegated to a lesser or different task
  • Polyethylene sheet as black bin bags


  • Where a material can be converted into something better (greater value) in its second life:
  • Scaffold board used in making a door
  • Pallets dismantled and made into furniture
  • Subsoil and green waste compost mixed to make topsoil
  • Landscape waste: Grass, leaves, new growth trimmings, shrubs: can any be composted?


  • Rubber tyres are being reduced to:
  • recycled metal wires
  • reinforcing of concrete and screeds
  • rubber crumb
  • soft paving materials
  • acoustic isolation strips

Recovered Materials

  • WRAP EnviroCentre Halcrow defn:
  • Recycled demolition materials
  • Recovered Secondary Aggregates

Waste Hierarchy: The reality

  • Reduce: very little is done, its nobody’s responsibility
  • Reuse & Recycle: some but not enough
  • Incinerate: too much
  • Landfill: very high percentage


  • Rubber tyres are being reduced to a high calorific value fuel in Cement Kilns to reduce CO2 emissions
  • Some domestic waste is incinerated to generate electricity


  • Where only the last few bits are left that cannot be put to other use
  • In reality most goes there by default


  • New-build
  • Landscape
  • Existing Buildings
  • Brownfield Sites
  • Remediate Fill sites
  • Demolition
  • Run down areas


  • Redesign to Reduce
  • Redesign to Deconstruct
  • Re-specify to Reduce Rejection
  • Recheck quantities Required
  • Reduce defects by protection
  • Return excess to source
  • Reuse/Recover


  • Store for Remedial action: snagging
  • Store for Repairs: 6 months defects
  • Segregate to Reuse
  • Segregate to Recycle
  • Segregate to Reduce: Skip hire and Landfill Tax
  • Remove foreign objects to recycle


  • Set-up composting areas on site
  • Collect seeds and dry
  • Rake grass and compost leaves
  • Cut grass, Retain grass cuttings and compost
  • Reclaim wild turf and flowers
  • Post notice on exchange website to sell wild turf
  • Retain topsoil in stockpiles
  • Relay turf on topsoil stockpiles
  • Retain subsoil in stockpiles
  • Set seeds and turf on topsoil stockpiles to discourage weeds

Soft Landscape

  • Spread subsoil over whole site to lose it
  • Cut turf from topsoil stockpile
  • Relay topsoil over subsoil
  • Rejuvenate topsoil with Compost
  • Relay turf on topsoil
  • Recreate topsoil with subsoil & compost
  • Relay any seeds

Hard Landscape

  • Retain hard materials for hardcore
  • Retain concrete to crush for aggregate
  • Reuse aggregate in concrete mix to foundations and haunches
  • Reuse hard materials as hardcore base to new paths and roads

Exiting buildings:

  • Remove Remains of bird and animals
  • Remove Recreational drug paraphernalia carefully
  • Record details to Repeat
  • Remove infected structure and fabric to incinerate off site

Exiting buildings:

  • Reclaim for Reuse
  • Recover for Repair and Refix
  • Refurbish not Replace
  • Redecorate
  • Reoccupy

Brownfield site:

  • Record Wildlife Biodiversity to be maintained or enhanced
  • Reuse or recycle building and site
  • Reuse site to regenerate area
  • Recreate wild life habitat on Roof

Remediate fill sites:

  • Resist Removing polluted fill to landfill
  • Resist Removing fill to landfill
  • Retain fill on site
  • Cover and Vent
  • Reduce ODP collect/burn methane
  • Remediate soil insitu
  • Raise to vent Radon Radioactive gas
  • Raise floor level to avoid excavation of fill


  • Record pre-demolition audit and post on Websites
  • Recover FFE by soft strip, Reuse elsewhere
  • Remove finishes which become impurities preventing reuse
  • Deconstruct to Reclaim for Reuse


  • Raze to the ground
  • Reclaim for Reuse
  • Reduce and Recycle
  • Recycle, downcycle and upcycle
  • Reuse the Reclaimed

A run down area:

  • Renewal
  • Regenerate
  • Regentrify but not at the expense of the existing communities


90 m tonnes of construction, demolition & excavation waste leaves site in a skip each year


EA survey (national survey, estimates, carried out in 1999/2000

  • 72.5 m tonnes/annum
  • Figures do not include road planings, nor materials re-used without processing on the site where they arose.

Mass Balance Survey Viridis/CIRIA Viridis report VR4 2002

  • 90 m tonnes/annum
  • More thorough survey, bigger range

BRE facts & figures Waste

  • Total industries: 400 m tonnes/year
  • Mining & Quarrying: 110 m tonnes/yr
  • Construction Ind C,D&E: 90 m t/year

Resource Efficiency


  • Can’t afford Green?
  • QS cost plan does not allow for green materials
  • So how do you get them into the project once in contract?
  • Save on waste and afford all you want
  • Save 50% of 36% you have 18% more budget to spend on materials

The hidden budget

  • 36% wasted materials x 50% reduction in waste =
  • 18% to spend on materials, labour is already allowed for

Cost of Waste

  • DTI and CE Site Waste Management Plans event: 2004
  • Waste accounts for 3% of build costs and 20% of materials costs

Savings from waste management

  • Greenwich Millennium Village 1300 unit housing site £150,000 saved so far
  • Swindon St Margaret’s Hospital £140m budget £850,000 saved by waste management alone

Waste management/minimisation

  • Don’t over order and waste it (13m tonnes/annum)
  • Reduce waste and save its value
  • Redesign to reduce off-cuts (33% = 30 m tonnes/annum)

Waste Arising: Of the materials delivered to the UK’s building sites,

  • 90 m tonnes/year leave in mixed material skips
  • 17 – 21 m tonnes/year of packaging and protection
  • 13 m tonnes/year is new and unused construction material

Waste Arising

  • 13 m tonnes/year is new and unused construction material
  • Not JIT Just in time but JIC Just in case
  • Over ordered, never needed?
  • Inaccurate measurement? +/-10%
  • Late instructions, revised design?
  • 50%-50% split of QRE Quality Related Events

Waste arising

  • 33.8 m tonnes (46%) C,D&E waste mainly hard demolition waste:
  • concrete and bricks, likely to include non-inert material such as timber and plasterboard
  • 23.7 m tonnes (33%) soil including stones and rock and classed as ‘inert’
  • 15.0 m tonnes (21%) mixed C,D&E waste and soil likely to include non-inert waste

BRE facts & figures: Construction waste by volume

  • Timber 13.8%
  • Concrete 10.2%
  • Inert materials 7.1%
  • Ceramics 8.6%
  • Insulation 7.5%
  • Plastics 3.2%
  • Packaging 25.9%
  • Metals 4%
  • Plaster & Cement 11.5%
  • Misc 9.6%

Key Waste Products KWP:

  • Plastic Packaging
  • Cardboard
  • Timber Pallets
  • Insulation
  • Plasterboard
  • Timber Generally
  • Timber packaging
  • Blocks
  • Bricks
  • Miscellaneous

Waste by Building type: Timber

  • Office 1.195-2.58
  • Office 0.201
  • Leisure 0.058
  • Restaurant 2.667
  • Housing:
  • Concrete 1.703
  • Traditional 1.65-2.56
  • Timber 1.244
  • Hemp: 0.945

Common Waste Causes

  • Offcuts: 33.2%
  • Recyclable packaging: 18.7%
  • Excess deliveries 18%
  • Temporary materials: 10.3%
  • Reusable packaging: 14.4%
  • Site Office and Canteen: 4.1%
  • Damaged through methods of work: 3.2%
  • Unsuitable storage: 1%
  • No apparent reason
  • Excavation material
  • Clearing site

Costs: sample project (BRE)

  • Timber pkg £28k
  • Plasterboard £26k
  • Rockwool £16k
  • Timber £16k
  • Pallets £8k
  • Blocks £1k
  • Miscellaneous £6k
  • Plastic pkg £2.5k
  • Cardboard £2.5k
  • Bricks £0.8k

Demolition waste % by volume (BRE limited studies)

  • Concrete: 52.6%
  • Ceramics: 22.5%
  • Furniture 16.6%
  • Timber 3.4%
  • Miscellaneous 1.9%
  • Metal 1.4%
  • Plastic 1.3%
  • Electrical Goods 0.3%

Demolition reuse and recycling potential (BRE limited studies)

  • Reusable 40.6%
  • Reusable but soiled 1.2%
  • Recyclable 27.3%
  • Energy from waste 3.4%
  • Inert waste to landfill 17% 16mt
  • Mixed waste to landfill 10.4% 9mt

Disposal routes

  • Recycled aggregates and stone: 25 m tonnes
  • Beneficially re-used at licensed landfills: 9.5 m tonnes
  • Used at registered exempt sites: 20.3 m tonnes
  • Disposed of at licensed landfills: 17.5 m tonnes

Recycling facts & figures

  • Construction waste recycled 20%
  • C,D&E waste recycled 45% (Hardcore)
  • Reclaimed and reused in construction 3.3 m tonnes/year
  • BRE figures based on EA survey 1999/2000

UK Reclamation Industry

  • 1500 fragmented businesses
  • Individually quite small
  • Reuse of products rather than recycle saving processing energy
  • 3m tonnes per year
  • Main Markets are domestic
  • Salvo’s Website is a hub to 150 companies

UK Reclamation Industry

  • Stone walling 1083 k tonnes
  • Clay/Stone paving 672 k tonnes
  • Clay bricks 443 k tonnes
  • Timber 371 k tonnes
  • Clay roof tiles 306 k tonnes
  • Timber beams 133 k tonnes
  • Floor boards 101 k tonnes
  • Antique stone 90 k tonnes
  • Iron & Steel 90 k tonnes
  • Antique timber 29 k tonnes

Case Study:

Carillion St Margaret’s Hospital Swindon

  • £140 m project
  • £850,000 saved from waste segregation alone
  • £200,000 on plasterboard alone

GMV Greenwich Millennium Village

  • saved £150,000

Constructing Excellence EPI Environment Performance Indicators:

  • Timber 1.54
  • Concrete 1.41
  • Inert 0.76
  • Ceramic 1.06
  • Insulation 0.69
  • Plastic 0.27
  • Packaging 2.26
  • Metal 0.47
  • Plaster/cement 1.27
  • Miscellaneous 0.85

Production waste stock piles: 6000 m tonnes of waste stockpiled in UK

  • Scotland, Wales and West Country
  • e.g. Welsh Colliery spoil mountains
  • Part of the Welsh heritage and landscape
  • Quarries filled
  • Now being mined for secondary aggregates

Slate production:

  • For every tonne of roofing slates created 100 tonnes of waste
  • Explosives are used to extract welsh slate

© GBE NGS ASWS BrianMurphy aka BrianSpecMan
11th July 2014 – 22nd November 2018

Waste of Resources




WasteCost Flooring 1 png




Supply Chain Event







© GBE NGS ASWS BrianMurphy aka BrianSpecMan
12th July 2014 – 22nd November 2018

Waste of Resources
See Also: 


  • EWC
  • NISP
  • PRN
  • REAP
  • SWMP
  • WEEE
  • WTN
  • WRAP






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© GBE NGS ASWS BrianMurphy aka BrianSpecMan
12th July 2014 – 22nd November 2018

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