Reducing the amount of waste should be a priority for any construction site, particularly after the introduction of compulsory site waste management plans and the government’s target to halve waste going to landfill by 2012.
According to waste body WRAP, the industry produces around 120 million tonnes of construction, demolition and excavation waste a year, more than 60 million tonnes of which is sent to landfill or similar disposal sites. To address this problem a new website – www.earthexchange.com – has been launched to help construction firms, housebuilders and developers locate local sites that have surpluses and deficits of materials.
Subscribers to the website will gain access to a map, updated in real time, which identifies sites that have extra material or those sites that require material. Users can then contact one another to negotiate a price and delivery times. As well as reducing the environmental impact of construction, the site’s creators claim it can save time and money.
‘We estimate that following the cessation of landfill tax exemptions, the average construction site looking to dispose of 1,000m³ of material could reduce their disposal cost by at least 80% if local sites could re-use this material,’ said Des Kelly, managing director of Earth Exchange. ‘Members are able to trade a wide range of materials, including soil, crushed aggregate, topsoil, subsoil and many other construction products such as surplus bricks, blocks, paving and pipe.’
When a useful site is identified Earth Exchange can also hook users up with service providers to test, treat, excavate and transport surplus material.
The service has been developed in conjunction with Encia Group, a consulting and contracting firm that specialises in brownfield development, environmental engineering and waste management.
A three-month free subscription is available. Annual subscriptions are £1,200 + VAT, or £700 + VAT per associate user.