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Draft guidance issued on managing building site waste

12 June 2012

The management of waste from construction and demolition projects is the subject of new draft planning guidance which has been issued for consultation by the Department of the Environment.

If adopted, the guidance, which looks at the role of site waste management plans, could help reduce the amount of waste generated as a result of  construction and ensure that any waste produced is more effectively and sustainably managed, through increased reuse and recycling. 

Construction projects generate the largest amount of solid waste in the Island (by weight) and much of this is currently directed to landfill. Planning and Environment Minister Deputy Rob Duhamel said “Better waste management on construction sites will mean less waste going to landfill, less quarrying, less transport of materials, less energy consumption and less risk of fly tipping.”

Environmental benefits

“In addition to these environmental benefits, however, there are also significant potential cost savings to be had for the construction industry, including lower waste disposal and transport costs and cost savings due to the reduction in the amount of materials wasted and purchased.”

Supplementary planning guidance on site waste management plans for new developments is required by the Island Plan and, in line with Island Plan policy, the draft guidance expects site waste management plans to be submitted in support of any planning application for ‘major development’, or developments which involve demolition of major structures or the generation of significant quantities of waste. Major developments are categorised as including 10 or more dwellings and floor space in excess of 1,000m².

The Island Plan also seeks to tighten controls on site waste management plans to ensure that they are regularly monitored and updated and properly implemented throughout construction projects and are reviewed at completion.

Site waste management plans can be used to:

  • identify the volume and type of waste materials that are likely to be generated during the development process
  • establish the opportunities for reuse and recycling of materials
  • demonstrate how off-site waste disposal will be minimised and managed
  • improve materials resource efficiency on construction sites 

The draft guidance outlines the policy context for site waste management plans, their purpose, the required content and how they should be prepared, updated and implemented.

Key aspects of the draft guidance include:

  • a step-by-step guide for preparing, monitoring, implementing and reviewing site waste management plans
  • a checklist to assist those involved in waste management planning to comply with the policy and guidance
  • an example proforma for site waste management plans
  • references to relevant literature and best practice

Deputy Duhamel said “The key will be to ensure that designers, site engineers, surveyors and those engaged in procurement accurately assess the use of materials and the potential for their re-use and recycling both on and off site.”

The draft guidance can be found online and will be available for consultation until 23 July 2012. At the end of this period, the draft guidance will be reviewed and amended in the light of the comments received, prior to formal adoption.

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