Only 40% of contractors understand what they are meant to do with site waste despite the introduction of swingeing new regulations, backed up with unlimited fines, in April.

A survey by the South East Centre for the Built Environment (SECBE) found a lack of enforcement at local level encouraged the industry to break the law.

Tina McGeachan, SECBE marketing manager, said: “A lot of contractors are failing to show an understanding of the requirements. There’s confusion as to who is responsible.”

Site waste management plans are required on jobs above £300,000. The client and the principal contractor on the job bear joint responsibility to predict and measure waste amounts and movement and to update the plan as the job progresses.