Defra dumps Site Waste Management Plans


Site Waste Management Plans will no longer be required for construction contractors after Defra decided to repeal them.

Instead, more work will be done to engage architects and designers of construction projects to ensure waste is designed out.


In a consultation on Site Waste Management Plans undertaken by Defra, 49 per cent of respondents wanted the plans repealed, while another 49 per cent wanted them to remain in place with the remainder neutral.

However, of the 169 respondents to the consultation, 24 respondents cited the lack of engagement with designers and architects as the main weakness of the regulations, with these passing on the responsibility to contractors rather than designing waste prevention into construction projects.

However, even if the regulations were repealed, 73 per cent of respondents expected that they would still use Site Waste Management Plans in order to record waste on site.

In Defra’s response to the consultation, in which it revealed it intended to repeal the Site Waste Management Plans regulation, it said: “The construction industry is a key driver to the UK economy and Defra has worked closely with the industry to develop best practice in dealing with waste.

“Defra is keen to increase the focus on resource efficiency and waste prevention allowing businesses to make the most of the cost savings possible through action in this area…

“…More work is needed to reduce the amount of waste arising in the first instance. This means the design phase of construction is vital in achieving the aim. Site Waste Management Plans tend to be produced after the design phase, and so only had a limited effect on this.

“We support the industry’s increasing focus on reducing construction waste by designing and managing it out, and the involvement of designers in the work of the Green Construction Board waste subgroup in delivering this aim.

“In addition, WRAP is looking to address this issue in the construction supply chain with a new responsibility deal with the construction industry that focuses on designing out of waste.

“We believe that such work will support Defra’s aims to reduce the amount of waste arising while allowing the industry the freedom to find the solutions that will work best for them.”

Picture: Zero Waste Scotland