Client's guide to cutting waste from construction projects

Forecast, measure and report waste in your construction projects


Efficient and effective waste management means clients being able to accurately forecast the levels of waste their construction projects will generate. Using a site waste management plan will help you to forecast and manage waste and meet your legal requirements.

Forecasting waste can have significant benefits for your construction project. Applying waste reduction techniques at the earliest stages of your project can deliver higher cost savings. The later stages of your project can then focus on the key waste reduction areas that have been identified.

To be able to accurately forecast the waste in your construction project, your business should develop key performance indicators (KPIs). These will enable you to monitor performance and honour your waste reduction commitment, if you have made one. The KPIs your business could use include:

  • tonnes of waste per £100,000 construction value
  • tonnes of waste sent to landfill per £100,000 construction value
  • percentage of waste diverted from landfill
  • percentage of recycled content (by value of materials) achieved

Your business can also use reporting standards that ensure that waste reporting from contractors is relayed back to your business for further analysis.

Working with your design team and contractor

When your design team has completed the waste forecast, your contractor should review it and let you know the actual waste generated. It is important to collect data throughout the construction phase to allow more accurate waste forecasting in future projects. Smaller projects that may not have the logistical set up to make this kind of reporting should be managed more closely by your business.

When your project is complete, you should conduct a waste audit to see how your actual performance matched your forecasts.