Scotland halves waste to landfill

Scottish construction firms are adding momentum to a UK-wide drive to slash waste which recently celebrated its 500th member business.

The Halving Waste to Landfill commitment (an industry-wide voluntary agreement which is backed by Zero Waste Scotland) has attracted over 500 signatories since launching in October 2008. The total number of signatories based in Scotland stands at 27, with half of those joining in the last six months.

That means the potential value of contracts to benefit by cutting waste stands at £2.5billion in Scotland – and over £30 billion across the UK.

Iain Gulland, Director of Zero Waste Scotland said: “It’s wonderful that in just over two years the Commitment has attracted more than 500 signatories and we’ve seen a recent spurt in Scotland to double the number of Scottish backers in just the last six months.

“We have a number of other Scottish firms in the pipeline and this really illustrates the desire of the industry to work in harmony to tackle waste. We need to view the problem of waste as one facing the entire industry, but tackle waste as best we can according to our individual ability. Small changes will make big differences. The end result for industry is less waste, both material and costs.”

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “The construction sector creates more waste than any other business sector in Scotland. Our Zero Waste Plan is a vision for all waste and aims to encourage all businesses to do the right thing by reducing and recycling most of their waste, with all the environmental and economic benefits which that can bring.

“The Halving Waste to Landfill commitment, as a voluntary scheme, is a great way of getting businesses to sign up to our zero waste ambitions. The initiative is already diverting 156,000 tonnes from landfill and saving over 30,000 tonnes of carbon. The Scottish Government is proud to lead by example as one of the 500 signatories and I hope to see many more Scottish businesses coming on board.”

One of the most recent signatories was the Scottish Construction Centre. Dr David Kelly, Senior Manager, commented: “The Scottish Construction Centre is extremely happy to sign up to this important Construction Initiative. We were pleased to have the opportunity to demonstrate this support by co-presenting with Zero Waste Scotland at a series of Workshops around Scotland promoting good construction waste management practice amongst all members of project teams and across all sectors of the construction industry.”

The complete list of signatories covers every aspect of construction – both in the built environment and civil engineering. The diversity of businesses covers clients, contractors, specialist subcontractors, designers, consultants, manufacturers, suppliers and waste management contractors. Other Scottish signatories include the Scottish Government, the Scottish Courts Service, Fife Council, Scottish Construction Centre and Forth Ports.

The Halving Waste to Landfill programme is concerned with reducing by 50% more than 15 million tonnes of Construction, Demolition and Excavation (CD&E) waste sent to landfill each year across the entire UK. All signatories need to set a baseline figure for their waste and work towards reducing this by whatever factor they can manage using the resources, assistance, tools and guidance provided free by WRAP.

You might also like