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Wed February 24 2021

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Welsh waste initiative under way

30 Jun 14 The Welsh government is backing a new initiative to reduce waste in the construction industry.

The Glynn Vivian Art Gallery refurbishment is one of the four pilot projects
The Glynn Vivian Art Gallery refurbishment is one of the four pilot projects

Four pilot schemes have been selected for the ‘Enabling Zero Waste’ project to identify ways that construction and demolition projects can generate less waste, reuse materials and use more recycled content. The aim is to establish if, and how, the construction industry can stop sending waste to landfill. 

The project is being run by Constructing Excellence in Wales (CEW), the government-sponsored organisation that tries to promote best practice.

The project was launched by Alun Davies, minister for natural resources and food, who said:

“The construction and demolition sectors in Wales are achieving high recycling and re-use rates already and I congratulate them on their success. However the sector still has more to do to reach our 2025 goal of zero waste to landfill. Landfill is costly and rethinking waste can bring benefits to businesses; this project will explore how the industry can go further to reduce waste and help us move towards a circular economy in Wales.”

CEW will work with four construction sites to try to eliminate waste.  These are:

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  • Care Home, Newport (Castleoak Care Partnerships)
  • Glynn Vivian Art Gallery refurbishment, Swansea (John Weaver Contractors)
  • Ice Arena Wales, Cardiff Bay (Kier Construction)
  • Millbank Primary School, Ely, Cardiff (WRW Construction)

The chosen schemes will be supported with practical assistance on all aspects of waste management from concept to completion. This will provide the basis for identifying, managing and documenting each type of waste, the possible options and available solutions, together with finding the root cause. On site advice will be provided by waste consultant BQMC.

Programme director Paul Jennings from CEW said: “The latest figures released by the Welsh government suggest that we are already moving in the right direction, with 87% of construction and demolition waste now being recycled. However, there is still much work to be done to reach the initial target for 90% or more of the waste generated across every material waste stream in the construction and demolition sectors in Wales to be re-used or recycled by 2019/2020.”

CEW is using photography drones (pictured below) and design modelling to support its work. A drone from Cardiff-based Heli-Eye is being used at various points throughout the project to take aerial images, while Arup and Gillard Associates will be using BIM modelling to look at how design changes might affect reductions in waste.  As all four schemes are already designed, most of the changes will only be hypothetical, for learning purposes.

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