The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) today called on the Government to make sure the minimum requirements for Site Waste Management Plans (SWMP) mirror standards set in the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM) 2007.
Responding to a Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' (DEFRA) consultation that closes today, the CIOB argues that it would make more sense for all construction projects involving more than 30 days or 500 person days of construction to plan and implement a SWMP. This copies the CDM threshold for when projects are notifiable to the Health and Safety Executive and goes against DEFRA's proposal that SWMPs should be applied to projects worth £200,000 or more.The CIOB consultation response claims that its proposal would create a level playing field within the construction industry, encourage more efficient use of materials and reduce waste crime.It also calls for the government to consider incentive based schemes that encourage the industry to reduce waste; along with inspection and enforcement tied in with existing regulatory checks. CIOB deputy chief executive Michael Brown said: 'As an industry we can't just rely on construction companies with an ethical approach to the environment to take up the slack for those that show little concern for the use and misuse of our resources. We need a change of behaviour that requires everyone to reduce waste.'If SWMPs are made mandatory they may result in some additional cost, but given a level playing field this should not affect the competitiveness of the company. There will be opportunities for cost savings in terms of recycling and reuse that would help offset any costs incurred.'