Construction and demolition waste alone represent about one fifth of the total UK waste.

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Construction and demolition waste

Construction and demolition waste alone represent about one fifth of the total UK waste. In tonnage terms, construction and demolition waste is the UK's largest waste stream, accounting for approximately 90 million tonnes of material annually.

  • Wastes will fall into one of three categories.
  • Always hazardous, e.g. lead acid batteries or fluorescent tubes.
  • Never hazardous, e.g. edible oil.
  • May, or may not, be hazardous and need to be assessed, e.g. ink or paint.

Some construction waste can be described as hazardous/special waste, i.e. waste that is harmful to human health or the environment. This waste may be flammable, corrosive, or ecotoxic.

One of the main challenges for the Construction & Demolition sector is waste classification. There are regularly situations where contractors employed to carry out construction work are not aware of their obligations to classify the waste that they produce.

Each waste type should be correctly coded to ensure that it goes to a suitably authorised site that is set up to handle it safely.

Misdescription of waste causes issues at receiving sites and could lead to the waste being rejected. For instance, inert landfills and deposit for recovery sites are not engineered to accept hazardous wastes or mixed C&D waste that is contaminated with inclusions of wood, plastic and metal as they don’t have the necessary measures in place to protect the environment and human health.

Examples of hazardous/special waste from construction include:

  • Treated timber
  • Concrete additives
  • Asbestos
  • Contaminated soils
  • Preservative
  • Adhesives
  • Paint
  • Varnish
  • Solvents
  • Fluorescent light tubes
  • lead-acid batteries

Waste regulations

The primary piece of European legislation relating to the management of waste is the Waste Framework Directive.

Revisions to the Waste Framework Directive have been recently implemented in England and Wales through the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011. The Waste (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2011 transpose the revised Waste Framework Directive in Northern Ireland and the Waste Management Licensing (Scotland) Regulations 2011, along with the associated Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2011, implement the revised Waste Framework Directive 2008.

These regulations affect all waste producers and managers and impact businesses that produce, import or export, carry or transport, keep or store, treat or dispose of waste, as well as applying to those operating as waste brokers or dealers.

In addition to ensuring compliant waste disposal and legislative adherence, there is a real focus from construction sites to achieve sustainability targets, which is why it is so important partner with the right waste management provider. Novus Environmental offer a bespoke service that is designed to work around the unique requirements of busy construction sites. Our goal is to save money, increase building material, improve operational efficiency and increase construction recycling whilst ensuring you remain compliant.

Our field-based team are on hand to visit the site, carry out a site survey and support you with your waste disposal plan.

We possess all the required licenses and accreditations to handle all of your complex hazardous waste streams and can offer a range of suitable containers ranging from small drums and bins, all the way up to large skips. We will provide collections at your required frequency, whether on an ad-hoc basis, or daily/weekly collections & exchanges, we can tailor our service delivery to suits your needs.

We provide a fully integrated service that allows you to consolidate and manage all of your waste streams with just one supply partner.

Novus are fully insured, compliant and accredited

At Novus Environmental, we guide the disposal of all waste types. With a thorough understanding of your needs, we deliver industry-leading solutions.

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Registration Number: 1449974