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Sat March 06 2021

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New partnership tackles Scottish construction waste

14 Feb 19 Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) and Zero Waste Scotland are teaming up to find new ways of cutting the amount of waste that goes to landfill.

The Brewster Bros recycling centre in Livingston is the UK's largest recycling plant for construction and demolition waste
The Brewster Bros recycling centre in Livingston is the UK's largest recycling plant for construction and demolition waste

The construction sector is the largest consumer of natural resources and the largest contributor of waste going to landfill in Scotland, accounting for one third of the overall waste to landfill.

Zero Waste Scotland is a not for profit limited company whose mission is to create a society where resources are valued and nothing is wasted. CSIC links businesses, universities and the public sector in collaboration to support increased innovation and productivity.  

Reusing, recycling, waste minimisation and ‘circular economy’ approaches offer construction companies significant opportunities in terms of cost savings, market opportunities and commercial competitive advantage, said the partners.

Their new partnership will build on the existing relationship between the two organisations, formed through several key activities, including ongoing work together on the Deconstruction Hub, a collaborative initiative exploring how industry can maximise and retain the value in material assets.

This more formal partnership will create a strategic relationship between CSIC and Zero Waste Scotland and will deliver a supporting programme of activities, including:

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  • a series of joint events to promote innovative ‘reuse, recycling and circular thinking’ initiatives within construction;
  • issuing ‘innovation calls’ to generate innovation projects  around waste reduction and reuse themes;
  • collaborating on further sector-wide strategic projects.

Zero Waste Scotland has also become a member of CSIC’s Innovation Factory, providing it with the opportunity to increase engagement with Scotland’s construction related businesses and promote its services via CSIC communications and events. Zero Waste Scotland will also be able to use the Innovation Factory to deliver training and events with businesses from any industry.

CSIC chief executive Stephen Good said: “Reducing construction waste and encouraging circular economy approaches should be a priority for everyone in the sector, and there’s no doubt that it is increasingly becoming a driver for businesses. CSIC has already funded numerous projects in these areas, including reusing waste tyres in acoustic barriers and producing bricks made from construction waste.

“By working in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland, who share many common goals with ourselves, we hope we can support even more construction businesses to innovate and grow whilst helping reduce the construction sector’s significant contribution to the country’s landfill.”

Zero Waste Scotland chief executive Iain Gulland said: “This partnership is a sign of our ambition to change the way we design and build in Scotland. The construction sector faces major challenges in reducing its waste but there are equally big opportunities for businesses to reduce costs and create new revenue streams in Scotland’s emerging circular economy.

“Achieving that will require new ways of thinking and working together to maximise our impact. By partnering with the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, we can combine an ambitious agenda for change with the practical and financial support that is required to help businesses make it happen.”

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