Contractors may charge subcontractors or drop them from future work if they fail to hit targets for site waste

Wates and Bovis Lend Lease are among those working with the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), the government’s waste quango, to cut the amount of waste sent to landfill by their supply chain.

The moves came as chancellor Alistair Darling announced in last week’s Budget that landfill taxes would be raised by £8 a tonne every April until at least 2013. At that point the levy will have reached £72 a tonne.

Wates is at an early stage of developing a financial system with WRAP that would measure subcontractors’ performance against “challenging” waste levels.

Rachel Woolliscroft, Wates’ group sustainability manager, said: “Subcontractors would be incentivised both financially and through increased work on our projects; or penalised financially and through falling down our supplier list.”

Wates’ Target:Zero programme aims to send no non-hazardous waste to landfill by 2010.

I think it’s the only way to get subbies and suppliers to give more focus to this issue

Rachel Woolliscroft, Wates

Woolliscroft added: “I think it’s the only way to get subbies and suppliers to give more focus to this issue. Money talks.”

Bovis has refused to rule out charging and relegating suppliers and specialists as it works out how to achieve a 70% cut by 2010 in the 600,000 of waste sent to landfill in 2007.

Paul Toyne, Bovis’ head of sustainability, said: “Would it be the difference between getting the next job and not getting it? We are considering all options.”

As of last year, all building projects over £300,000 have had to have a site waste management plan (SWMP) containing details on the type and quantity of waste generated on site.