Perth and Kinross Council signed up to the UK-wide ‘Halving Waste to Landfill Commitment’ last week, making it only the second Scottish authority to do so after Fife in early 2009.

By adding its name to the ranks, Perth and Kinross is pledging to install robust guidelines for how the construction industry can reduce waste, recycle more and increase the use of recovered materials in new construction projects.

The Halving Waste… initiative was developed by WRAP – the national Waste and Resources Action Programme – and is being championed north of the border by Zero Waste Scotland; an organisation set up by the Scottish government to aid such causes.

Commenting on the council’s commitment, Cllr Alan Grant noted that the pledge would impact on the council’s own activities as much as that of its partners and businesses operating within the district.

“As an organisation involved in developing and refurbishing buildings and facilities, Perth and Kinross Council has a significant role to play in minimising the environmental and economic impacts of sending waste materials from construction, demolition and excavation to landfill,” Mr Grant said.

“The council is also looking to make the most cost-effective use possible of materials recovered from the waste stream – thus helping to divert waste from landfill, save expenditure on landfill tax and reduce demand on our finite natural resources.”

Inclusion of waste prevention, minimisation, reuse and recycling requirements in standard contract terms is one of the primary measures the council is expected to take.

In fact with the support of Zero Waste Scotland, work is already underway within the authority to ensure construction programmes have limited impact on the environment.

The current redevelopment of a recycling centre at Crieff – comprising the construction of a waste transfer station building, new access road and recycling bays – has a minimum waste recovery target of 75 per cent, for example.

“Perth and Kinross Council has really embraced their commitment to Halving Waste to Landfill, a pledge which will both reduce waste and save money,” said Zero Waste Scotland’s Iain Gulland.

“Zero Waste Scotland will support council staff with the delivery of the Commitment by providing expert training on how to reduce, forecast, manage and report the amount of waste on projects, and providing contract and tendering procurement support.

“Fife Council’s building services department, which has already signed up to the scheme saved almost £150,000 last year alone thanks to better management of construction waste.

“We are confident that Perth and Kinross Council stand to benefit this year.”

Sam Plester

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