Thames Gateway should be global showcase for waste – WRAP

The planned development of the Thames estuary offers an ideal opportunity for the British construction industry to show the world how materials can be used - and disposed of - efficiently according to an organisation which advises Government on waste management.

WRAP (The Waste & Resources Action Programme) is calling on construction companies to take up the challenge and make the Thames Gateway development a model of sustainable building.

The scale of the development programme is vast, stretching from London’s East End beyond Thurrock in Essex.

By providing advice and support to the construction companies themselves and those along the supply chain, WRAP believes it can help the industry to reduce its environmental impact and potentially improve operational and commercial performance, specifically in the management and minimisation of construction waste and the use of recycled products and materials.

“The scale of the Thames Gateway development presents a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate that, as an industry, real progress is being made in a key area of sustainability,” said Dr Mike Watson, WRAP’s head of construction.

At more than 400 million tonnes per year, the construction sector is the highest consumer of materials in the UK and represents one of its biggest opportunities for reducing the environmental impact of future development and urban regeneration.

“With construction starting on facilities for the 2012 Olympics, and the regeneration of urban areas along the 40 miles of the Thames Gateway underway, the management of material resources and waste in construction must be effective if we are serious about delivering sustainability,” said Dr Watson.

“If every regeneration project in the Thames Gateway adopted best practice in materials efficiency, it would greatly reduce the environmental impact. In addition, there are compelling operational and commercial reasons to ensure you, as a client or contractor, are delivering best practice in materials efficiency.”

WRAP is calling for those agencies that set specifications for development within the Thames Gateway to ensure they are aware of the best practice strategies, tactics, tools and guidance available to reduce waste going to landfill and encourage the use of recycled materials.

More information on how they might achieve this is available on the WRAP website.

Sam Bond

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