Thanks for the interesting article about waste management (27 October, page 46).
We too have been trying to reduce waste on our sites in the past few years. Our research has shown that up to 70% of uncompacted, mixed-waste skips are void space and that we can make large savings by segregating waste on site. For example, one of our sites saved nearly £50,000 in six months just by segregation alone.
Unfortunately, to make segregation work properly, we need assistance from an educated and waste-aware workforce. One of the problems we’ve found is a lack of adequate signage. This is being addressed by introducing industry-standardised waste signage, which Bovis Lend Lease helped to develop with other major contractors, the Institution of Civil engineers and Waste Aware Construction.
The Waste Aware Construction website (www.wasteawareconstruction.org) has a “poster creator” that anybody can use to make customised signs that use standard colours and images for different waste streams.
We’ve found recycling rates based on weight rather than volume, as quoted by some waste contractors, can be skewed. Heavy materials such as soil and concrete are almost all “recycled”, but this does not adequately reflect the bulky yet lightweight waste materials such as plastic and cardboard that may not get recovered for recycling and end up in the landfill.
Andrew Kinsey, senior environmental manager, Bovis Lend Lease