Excavator removes Waste in 2008 to illustrate our Review of the Year in UK Rubbish.

First UK Site Waste Management Plan Template (SWMP) Issued by WRAP in 2008

The following is our archived post in which we introduced the idea of a Site Waste Management Plan (SWMP) template, which would be used to develop consistently high quality Site Waste Management Plans (SWMPs) at the start of all constrcution projects over £300,000 in value.

“WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) has launched (on 26 February 2008) a Site Waste Management Plan (SWMP) template to help the construction industry comply with legislation coming into force in England in April, which will make SWMPs a mandatory requirement on all aspects of construction work worth more than £300,000.

Construction waste recycling in action on a site assisted by a UK Site Waste Management Plan Template.
Construction waste is crushed on the site. Much of it can often be recycled on the site.

The template, which supports standard, good and best practice in general construction, housing and civil engineering projects, has been developed with Halcrow, Costain, C4S, the NHBC Foundation and the BRE to support the industry in developing their plans. The template comprises a series of 14 steps, which follow the construction lifecycle from pre-design to project completion and review.

Using the template will enable contractors to develop key performance indicators (KPIs) for waste and materials, and monitor performance throughout the project. Importantly, the template can be used to demonstrate good and best practice performance beyond simple standard compliance with the regulations.

Mervyn Jones, WRAP Programme Manager for Waste Minimisation and Management, comments:

“Now that SWMPs are to become mandatory we wanted to provide an approach that would not just help the sector and its clients comply with the legislation, but also offer the opportunity to identify and deliver good and best practice in reducing waste and using materials more efficiently. The template will lead construction professionals through both the development and implementation of the plan, at each stage of construction”.

The template can be implemented from the conception of a project and offers the flexibility for use either in its entirety or for relevant elements to be incorporated into existing templates or systems that a company may have in place.  It will allow contractors to predict and monitor the waste produced by a project, detail decisions taken to minimise waste generated, and at completion produce final reports to demonstrate overall performance.

The template includes guidance at each step to enable professionals to understand the data they need to input and how it can be used to inform the rest of the plan.  The template is part of a suite of WRAP resources to support SWMPs.

The Waster says:

“These templates look awe-inspiringly complicated! A £300,000 project is not large, and yet these templates are intended from that size project and upward. It will amaze me if these templates get used.”

There is surely a need for a more down to earth approach toward compliance than these templates. We need tools designed for the average contractor with uncomplicated waste disposal needs for the vast majority of simple projects.

Drycake Twister food waste depackaging plastics separator

These templates smack at a project completed by a Spreadsheet Wiz, but very few in the industry will be on this wavelength at all – in my view. I hope the industry proves me wrong, because the aims of reducing waste and saving money are worthwhile.

Not sure what a Site Waste Management Plan is? For a summary of the requirements and an explanatory video visit our SWMP hubpage here.

January 2020 Update:

National Waste Programme: Project Waste Management Plan (PWMP) Template

The GOV.UK website provides an editable, blank template which can be directly adopted by waste producers, adapted to form a site-specific PWMP, or used to improve an organisation’s existing processes where PWMPs are already in use, here.


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