Waste Management Strategy for England 2007: a brief summary for the thGreen Alliance Seminar on Construction Waste: 18 July 2007.
The Waste Strategy for England 2007 was published on 24 May and sets out a way forward for the management of waste in England, based on the waste hierarchy. Key objectives include:
; A greater emphasis on waste prevention and re-use
; Decoupling waste growth from economic growth
; Increase diversion from landfill of non-municipal waste
Emphasis is placed on economic instruments (e.g. landfill tax escalator), better regulation (e.g. waste protocols), action on priority materials, products and sectors (including construction), greater segregation and sorting of waste (through investment in infrastructure) and improving local and regional governance.
A key theme is aligning the waste strategy with action on climate change, resource efficiency, and sustainable consumption and production as well as environmental impact.
Attention is given to the construction sector and the waste it produces within the Waste Strategy in terms of both specific and overarching actions. Annex C3 focuses solely on construction, demolition and excavation waste. The following areas below are likely to have an impact on the sector:
Pricing: increase of landfill tax by ?8 per tonne from April 2008 until at least 2010/2011 for active waste; increase in inert waste to ?2.50 per tonne from April 2008; increase in Aggregates Levy to ?1.95 per tonne from April 2008.
Regulation: review of the current permitting and exemptions systems, waste protocols; review of the regulation of inert waste (consultation due end of 2007); review of the handling, transfer and control of waste (further consultation expected); consultation (subject to further analysis) on more restrictions on landfilling of biodegradable wastes and recyclable materials; pre-treatment of non-hazardous wastes destined to landfill.
Materials, products and sectors: identification of priority waste materials based
on environmental impact including plastics, glass, wood and aluminium; priority product groups based on waste impact including packaging, paints and electronic and electrical equipment and sectors including construction; a new products and materials unit will be set up within DEFRA focusing on 10 product roadmaps including plasterboard and window systems; eco-design requirements for energy-using products; support for re-use and re-manufacture.
Investment: ensure that Regional Spatial Strategies and local development plans conform to national planning guidance in waste to enable planning approval for waste infrastructure projects; developing collection arrangements and the energy market for wood waste which cannot be re-used or recycled; setting a clearer strategy for the Business Resource Efficiency and Waste (BREW) programme; continued support for market development focusing on priority materials.
Local and regional governance: encouraging local authorities to take a wider role to help local (especially smaller) businesses to reduce and recycle their waste; encourage the Regional Development Agencies and other regional bodies to co-ordinate business waste and resource management.
Emphasis is placed on a „shared responsibility‟ for waste which includes a vision for
society as a whole to appreciate the importance of responsible waste management; for businesses this includes building resource efficiency and sustainable waste management into their business model as waste producers themselves and the design of products, the services offered and what is purchased. This includes responsibilities for Government in terms of their own waste and procurement practices
The high level implementation plan has the following has a number of actions with associated timeframes:
; Develop sector-level agreement to reduce plasterboard waste to landfill and
increase collection and recycling (end of 2007)
; Develop policy roadmaps for other priority construction products such as
window systems (ongoing)
; Consult on making Site Waste Management Plans mandatory for larger
construction sites, subject to consultation (April 2007)
; Implement the Construction Waste & Resources Roadmap (Summer 2007
Construction waste objectives and priorities
Annex C3 outlines objectives for construction waste:
; Provide drivers to improve the economic efficiency by creating less waste at
every stage of the supply chain
; Encourage the sector to treat waste as a resource, closing the loop by re-
using and recycling more and asking contractors for greater use of recovered
; Improve the economics of re-use and recycling sector by increasing sector
demand and securing investment in the treatment of waste
Key issues for the sector include: greater diversion of waste from landfill, a lack of data especially related to non-inert waste, predicted growth in demolition waste, greater levels of construction and the importance to decouple this growth from materials consumption through increased resource efficiency, off-site fabrication and illegal waste activity.
Emphasis is placed on key policies such as the Code for Sustainable Homes (which requires a SWMP as a minimum requirement), sustainable procurement, sector commitments and policy roadmaps for priority products and materials and linkages with the forthcoming Sustainable Construction Strategy and Environment Agency sector plan. In addition, it will be vital to ensure that construction resource efficiency is at the heart of “flagship” developments such as Thames Gateway and the 2012
Proposed targets (for consultation)
The forthcoming Sustainable Construction Strategy, led by the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, will consult with industry on a number of waste targets for the construction industry.
Targets present within the England Waste Strategy are:
; The construction industry to halve the amount of construction, demolition and
exaction wastes going to landfill by 2012 as a result of waste reduction, re-
use and recycling
; For construction clients to include contractual requirements for measurement
and improvement of materials resource efficiency in one-half of construction
projects in England over ?1 million in value by 2009.
; Government to achieve waste-neutral construction in its major construction
projects by 2012.
Extra targets within the forthcoming Sustainable Construction Strategy (as well as the ones above) include:
; Zero net waste, at construction site level, by 2015
; Halve the amount of construction waste produced by 2015
; Zero waste to landfill by 2020
17 July 2007