What is a Site Waste Management Plan


Site Waste Management Plans Made Easy

What are SITE WASTE Management Plans (SWMPs)?

They are plans which must be drawn up by construction site contractors for all (UK - England) construction sites where the value of the construction work will exceed £300,000.

(Please note that the following is about the new legal SWMP requirements for England, since April 2008.)

What is the Purpose of a SWMP?

The idea is that when a project is planned there shall be detailed thought given to applying the waste heirarchy:

  • Avoid waste - in building this could be achieved by carrying out a renovation rather than a complete demolition and rebuild.
  • Minimise waste - avoid creating the waste (such as crush and recycle concrete on site and use it as an aggregate in the concrete for the new buidling on the site). That way no waste is created, and the aim of minimising waste is met.
  • Recycle - that is find another use for materials (for example collect materials such as glass and return them to a central processing point where the glass may be melted and used to make new bottles).

Who are SITE WASTE Management Plans (SWMPs) likely to affect:-

  • anyone who is planning a construction project costing more than £300,000

  • any construction project clients or architects that

  • produce, manage or dispose of waste

  • suppliers to the construction industry

  • environmental regulators, ie local authorities and the Environment Agency.

SWMPs were originally introduced as a voluntary initiative but are now being made compulsory. The aim is to:

  • change the construction industry's attitude to waste by raising the profile of waste planning
  • reduce the amount of waste produced on construction sites prevent fly-tipping
  • improve environmental performance
  • meet regulatory controls
  • reduce the rising costs of managing waste.

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) launched a consultation in April 2007. A summary of responses was published indicating support for the proposal of statutory SWMPs. Respondents favoured the suggestion that the threshold of £250,000 was too high and that SWMPs would be of benefit in terms of improving resource efficiency.

What are the Levels of SWMP According to Project Size?

Standard SWMP - for projects costing between £300,000 and £500,000.

Detailed SWMP - for projects costing more than £500,000 and requiring more detailed reporting. If the project has a higher estimated value (over £500, 000), the SWMP must be further updated to include the identity of the waste required by section 34 of the EPA 1 990, Duty of Care.

9 Easy Steps to a Compliant SWMP

UK Legal Aspects - Duty of Care Explained

THE DUTY of Care is a law which requires every business in the UK to take "all reasonable steps" to keep their wastes safe. It was introduced through Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and covers any businesses that produce, import, carry, keep, treat, dispose or broker controlled waste.

The objective of the Duty of Care is to protect people and the environment from illegally managed waste. It does this through creating an "audit trail" of responsibility for the waste. The environment agencies and local authorities can follow the audit trail back through all parties that have been responsible for it. They may prosecute if any party has failed to observe its responsibilities for the waste.

The Duty of Care transfer note should include a description of all non-hazardous or hazardous properties associated with the waste. This is to ensure that subsequent waste treatment or disposal does not cause adverse chemical reactions.

The Duty of Care regulations are currently may have been being revised since the above was written.

PLEASE do Comment Here - Yes! We really do want to know Your thoughts About This!!! 40 comments

homesecurity profile image

homesecurity 8 years ago

Well you managed to make a strange subject interesting, great information.

mastercleanse profile image

mastercleanse 8 years ago

great site. most people don't take this seriously enough.

getaway 365 8 years ago

Found this by accident. Interesting article though

Niche Markets profile image

Niche Markets 8 years ago

Great topic, it's always best to be proactive instead of trying to clean up the mess (literally) later. I worked on a waste management plan for a chain of discount stores and we were able to reduce waste -and costs of waste removal - by 40%. Who knew garbage could be so interesting!

PotatoHeadHarvey profile image

PotatoHeadHarvey 8 years ago from Spokane

I was curious about what goes on with these big construction site projects and what type of requirements were in place to protect the environment. Wonder if China has anything like this in place???

Thank you! This was informative and helpful. Go Green!

saralatvanen 8 years ago

good solid piece of information on a "dirty" subject... sorry i could not resist the bad humour.

lbman 8 years ago

Good lens. Must not shoot the messanger I suppose, but this all looks to me like a lot of requirements to learn, and a lot work for most hard pressed contractors to complete.

jmcweb 8 years ago

I'm based in UK and I know how important this has become.

yojpotter profile image

yojpotter 8 years ago from Iloilo City

It's good to see this topic was brought up..I think we all need to do our share in protecting our planet...thumbs up to all the construction company who are following these examples! ^^

BanjDog profile image

BanjDog 8 years ago from Travel Around

It has always amazed me at the amount of waste on a building site - it is a disgrace!

Hopefully these SWMP's will improve this and that contractors will realize that not only can they help the environment but they can save themselves money as well.

nkthen profile image

nkthen 8 years ago

Well written... Now let me check your website for more information...

crazycat profile image

crazycat 8 years ago from Philippines

Hope going green or suporting sustainability will not only be a fad but will continue to be practiced because this is what we and the world needs. We now see the effect of global warming and we should do something about it.

GreatGoji profile image

GreatGoji 8 years ago

Most Contractors tend to be wasteful... shameful really!.. They should rethink what they do and care more then maybe they too could save alot including money! Nyahah!

Sakora 8 years ago

saving the planet earth should be a matter of great concern to all. i am currently writing a project on altanatives of reducing construction site waste, any help? below is my e-mail address danielomari@yahoo.com.

Sakora 8 years ago

saving the planet earth should be a matter of great concern to all. i am currently writing a project on altanatives of reducing construction site waste, any help? below is my e-mail address danielomari@yahoo.com.

stevelast profile image

stevelast 8 years ago Author

Hi! Sakora - Here are some ideas for renovations of old buidlings:

If the building has nice old bricks call a specialist merchant who supplies secondhand materials for restoring heritage buildings. Even if he won't pay for the bricks you deliver to him, you will still have saved the landfill fee.

If the building has plasterboard walls and these being replaced. Keep the plasterboard separate and send it back to the manufacturer where the gypsum the boards are made from can be recycled.

If some of the old paving stones are broken, keep them and when you have enough of different colours and types, break them up some more and use the slabs as "carzy paving".

As soon as you get thinking you realise that there are loads of things that can be done to save sending construction waste to landfill.

First_home_buyer profile image

First_home_buyer 8 years ago

As prices for all materials continue to rise, following this advice will become more and more important. I like the fact that you suggest site waste management plans being very green and that construction contractors must reduce their waste. It is appalling how much material is wasted on building sites. There is so much contractors can do to make their act tidier and minimise the waste they produce, and while doing that they will actually save themselves money!

tschier profile image

tschier 8 years ago from Stuart

What a great Idea. As a family that recycles as much of out waste as we can I am gratfull to see this being inacted in the UK. Hope it catches on and is mandatory in all countries. If we are to sustain this planet for other generations we need to go green where ever we can. After all it's our home were protecting.

workfromhomenz profile image

workfromhomenz 8 years ago from New Zealand

Excellent information, Steve. I wish you best of fortune on this endeavour.

gardenresources profile image

gardenresources 8 years ago

You bring up some topics here that I had never really thought of. Thanks for getting my brain to come out of retirement and consider waste management

kalta1 profile image

kalta1 8 years ago from Scottsdale, Arizona

Going green is so in right now. I just hope we are not to late. This comapny is doing something about it and I respect that!

globalresortsnet profile image

globalresortsnet 8 years ago

Great hub and very valuable information. This topic actually stands out among most of the hubs due to its variety. Keep up the good work.

Stayathomejobs profile image

Stayathomejobs 8 years ago from NC

Great hub! It is laid out very nicely indicating a lot of thought was put forth.

prophet25 profile image

prophet25 8 years ago

This is so true, I do not think it is a good idea that so much material is wasted on building sites. Contractors can do many things to make their act tidier and minimise the waste they produce, and this also save some cost for them...

sakora 8 years ago

as a polytechnic grad. in building technology, waste control has been a major issue i'm trying to come to terms with. i strongly agree with you that, if waste is properly managed, it will increase profit and enhance the industry in general. my problem is, apart from the 3Rs in waste management, which other ways can waste be reduced in construction?

stevelast profile image

stevelast 8 years ago Author

Sakora: There are a lot of ways and the best in my view come from thinking innovatiely about each project. On a recent job we were going to knock down a glass coated steel tank and start completely new which would have involved breaking out the old tank base slab, and building a new bund for our new smaller storage tank. We have actually decided to re-use the existing base slab and stand new HDPE Plastic tanks on the old slab. We found the lower ring of steel panels was OK to use as the tank bund. We have saved money from re-using the slab and part of the old tank, and lower steel panels, and reduced the programme period for building it as well. It must be hard to think of these things when in college when there are no real examples on a real job, but I suggest you think about things like that.

stevelast profile image

stevelast 8 years ago Author

Sakora: Here is another good one for saving waste and which could be used in SWMPs. See it in the June 2008Highways magazine, page 34. "Resurfacing Technique Saves the Planet". Here is the extract from the article which refers:-

Cambridgeshire Highways negotiated with the specialist road recycling and stabilisation contractor Stabilised Pavements Ltd to use the in-situ recycling process, which will provide a 20 year design life of 5M standard axles for the 12,000m2 section of rejuvenated road. SPL, based in Lutterworth, Leicestershire is believed to be the only company in the UK currently promoting the in-situ recycling process using its German Wirtgen WR2500 Recycler to spearhead the technique.

The company also specialises in haunch recycling, retread and soil stabilisation. "The Wirtgen WR2500 can pulverise to full depth while simultaneously delivering accurately metered quantities of water, bitumen emulsion or foamed bitumen into the mixture to strengthen and rejuvenate damage pavements in compliance with clients' specifications," says SPL director Gerry Howe.

“In-situ recycling, unlike conventional repairs, does not generally require the disposal of surplus material or the importation of large quantities of new materials. The in-situ deep and cold recycling process involves pulverising damaged or failed road pavements to, depths of up to 320mm with a special rotovating machine and mixing in specific quantities of either lime, cement, pulverised fuel ash, bitumen emulsion or foamed bitumen. The revitalised mixture is then rolled, reprofiled, re-rolled and overlaid with an appropriate final surfacing for a fast return to traffic.

I hope that helps?

Site Waste Planning Ltd 8 years ago

A good overview of the legislation, or for something quite a few companies seem to know little about!

kris 8 years ago

Hi I'm working as waste maneger on a building site.

teamplayer1906 8 years ago

I agree with the first comment. You took what could be perceived as a boring topic, waste management, and made it interesting. Very informative and well put together. I hope more companies read this hub.

VanBergen profile image

VanBergen 8 years ago

Great to see that construction contractors are concerned with being Green. Gotta save the planet.

burnthefatjourney 8 years ago

I see a lot of waste evertime I drive by any construction site. Everything is heaped up in a pile and you can see value in what the construction company may see as garbage.

scott 8 years ago

Great stuff. Thanks for the useful info!

outofbreath profile image

outofbreath 8 years ago from Kenya

Very new information for me.. I never think about this.. but I thought it would be very useful..

GabrielleGuichard profile image

GabrielleGuichard 8 years ago from Antofagasta (Chile)

Though I think it's a shame that a government must edict laws for something that should be made almost by reflex, I have to admit it was a thing to do. Thank you for the info in the article, and for the useful links.

WaterPurifierPro profile image

WaterPurifierPro 7 years ago

You know trash always seems to be an after thought in construction projects. Planning for it up front make all the sense in the world

Kirsten Young profile image

Kirsten Young 6 years ago

We should all be doing our part to make the world a greener place! Great information, thanks for sharing.

Ikhuenbor Vikram Osarumen 6 years ago

I we all put our hands on deck then we can make the world a better place.

Bob in China 6 years ago

I am currently working in China on a pretty big construction job and am trying to get the contractor to write a SWMP....lots of blank faces.....

nadeem 5 years ago

will any one teach me or give tips for project management

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    Recycling is a popular method

    A Highways Construction Waste Reduction Success

    Resurfacing Technique Saves the Planet


    Insitu recycling of a damaged road surface near Peterborough provided a perfect solution for the local environmentally friendly council.

    This is part of a report published in the Highways magazine June 2008. I won't publish it all here for copyright reasons. (It may be available at www.highways-mag.co.uk)

    Cambridgeshire County Council is believed to be the country's leading county for recycling waste materials and recently demonstrated and reinforced its commitment to the policy. The county's highways service, in conjunction with its Term Maintenance Services partner Atkins, which forms Cambridgeshire Highways, has opted to recycle in-situ a 2km stretch of the B1040 road, which runs parallel to and directly alongside the River Nene at Ramsey St Mary's, about 20km south west of Peterborough. The road mainly takes agricultural vehicles and is the only means of access to several residential and agricultural properties.

    Cambridgeshire Highways considered three reconstruction options for this particular site. These were traditional reconstruction, where the existing material is excavated and replaced by new, ex-situ or off site recycling, where the existing material is removed to a mobile mixing plant for blending prior to returning to site, and in-situ recycling, where the existing material is recycled in place.

    In-situ recycling was used and the author states that it was found to be much faster, cheaper, much less disruptive to traffic and far more environmentally acceptable with a carbon footprint considerably less than off site recycling or normal reconstruction methods. Off site or ex-situ recycling and traditional reconstruction techniques require vastly more lorry movements to transport materials to and from the site. Also in-situ recycling, unlike conventional repairs, does not generally require the disposal of surplus material or the importation of large quantities of new materials.

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