The government plans to force contractors to implement strict site waste management rules under legislation that could take effect by next summer
Construction minister Nigel Griffiths is to launch a voluntary code of practice on 8 July that sets out how contractors ought to manage site waste. However Building understands that the government may use a statutory instrument to make the guidance mandatory a year after it is launched.

A Whitehall source said that the government's guidance would list how contractors ought to manage waste disposal on sites.

He said that contractors would be urged to make sure that they separate out the disposal of hazardous from non-hazardous waste.

The source added that the government was keen that a project ought to have site waste management plans and risk assessments in place before it begins. The Whitehall source said: "The government wants materials manufacturers, architects and contractors to work together to design out excess waste."

He said construction generated 90 million tonnes of waste a year, of which 13 million tonnes was caused by over-ordering materials.

He said the aim was to cut these levels.

The government aims to ensure that contractors become more efficient in managing waste in time for the introduction of the European Landfill Directive, which will become English law next month.

The government wants the industry to work together to design out excess waste

Whitehall source

Under theses rules, the government has to ensure that hazardous waste is disposed of in separate landfills from non-hazardous waste.

The government fears that Britain does not have enough landfills sites to dispose of hazardous waste, so it is keen to put pressure on the construction industry to clean up its act.

The Whitehall source said that, to begin with the government was going to target medium and large contractors but hoped that within the one-year trial period it would filter down to smaller firms.

The source added: "The plan is eventually to target smaller builders who plague the environment by fly-tipping.