Tower Demolition’s daily work of demolishing, decommissioning and stripping down buildings, and preparing sites for development, inevitably produces waste. The demolition industry already recycles over 90% of arisings produced during demolition and over 50% of hardcore produced is reused on site. In 2016, the National Federation of Demolition Contractors (NFDC) reported that, in the UK:
- 21,122,058 tonnes of hardcore
- 2,195,947 tonnes of other materials (metal, timber, gypsum, insulation and mixed non-hazardous waste) were diverted from landfill—either reused or recycled—saving a total of £236.3 million in landfill tax.
We are proud of our own record of salvaging, recycling and reusing existing material. Currently, this amounts to 95%.
In achieving this, we:
- minimise the amount of waste sent to landfill, reducing both cost for our clients and associated environmental issues.
- offset the environmental impact caused by extraction and consumption of further resources and production of new materials
- adhere to the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA) and other relevant UK laws which regulate how waste should be managed and pollution controlled
Under S.33 of the EPA 1990 (amended in 1995), it is an offence to:
- Deposit or knowingly cause or knowingly permit to be deposited (controlled) waste in or on land unless in accordance with the terms of a waste management licence
- Treat, keep or dispose of controlled waste in land or by means of any mobile plant unless in accordance with the terms of a waste management licence
- Treat, keep or dispose of controlled waste that could cause environmental pollution or harm human health. (This offence applies even in situations where a waste management licence is not required.)
Breach of duty of care is a crime. If convicted in the Magistrates court, the maximum punishment for these offences is 12 months imprisonment and/or a fine of £50,000. In the Crown court, it could run to a 5-year jail term or an unlimited fine.
Site Waste Management Plans Regulations (SWMP) 2008 were repealed in 2013 as part of the government’s effort to reduce red tape. However, some projects still require compliance in order to obtain BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) certification, which evaluates the sustainability of buildings.
NOTE: Tower are among the few demolition contractors making the Site Waste Management Plan corpuscular to all our projects.
Tower will carry out pre-demolition audits to identify the waste materials that will be generated by the demolition, and to make recommendations for their re-use (on and off-site), recycling and final disposal. Our audits aim to maximise re-use and minimise materials going to landfill.
To this end, we have written four pre-demolition audit case studies to illustrate how we achieve resource efficiency and set appropriate targets to meet the requirements of all regulatory bodies and, in addition, provide substantial savings to our clients.