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Midlands Site waste still excessive

Too much good quality building material is heading to the skip and not getting recycled, according to ICE West Midlands latest State of the Nation report.

Construction is responsible for some 90M tonnes of waste in England each year.

The West Midlands is due to build more than 300,000 new homes over the next 20 years, a fact that is raising concern about levels of constuction waste.

ICE West Midlands chairman Len Threadgold said: "At a time when thousands of new homes are planned and new buildings and infrastructure are taking shape across the region, we must reduce landfill by making the best use of what is left over.

"We need to have strategic plans in place to make our buildings greener from their very inception, and recycling construction waste is a good point to start."

According to the report, the situation is improving, with landfill tonnage dropping. But the report goes on to say that site management plans should clearly show how construction waste will be reused.

The report recommends:
-Making waste a resource to get the maximum value out of what we no longer need
-Joined-up thinking on all aspects of waste and the appropriate use for it.
-Continual cycles of waste reduction – reuse – recycle – recovery must be established.
-Simplified legislation to make waste disposal and reuse easier.
-Clearer definition in legislation of what waste is and when it becomes a resource.
-Reducing the amounts sent to landfill and reviewing rates of diversion of waste, by looking at waste to energy, combined heating and power, and biomass.
-Investing and encouraging greater separation of materials and integration of the recycling chain.
-'Pay as you throw' applied to commercial waste – and a levy charged on those who produce excessive packaging. are forcing ourselves to think differently."

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