Tradesmen told to ditch the skip and reuse waste

A website set up to help the public find trustworthy tradesmen is now trying to reduce construction waste by matching up materials left over from jobs with those who can make good use of them.

Building contractors using the site, which is due to go live this Saturday, will be offered an alternative to skipping unused but perfectly serviceable materials.

Instead they will be able to post details of their unwanted materials and wait for those browsing the site to get in touch and make them an offer.

While most goods are expected to change hands on a ‘if you collect it, it’s yours’ basis, posters will be allowed to charge for the leftovers.

Posters will also be able to request specific materials.

The construction industry is notoriously wasteful, particularly on larger developments, and shipping leftovers to the landfill is financially as well as environmentally damaging as companies face soaring gate fees and transport costs.

Almost a fifth of all construction materials are never used and account for the second largest waste stream in the UK, far outstripping household waste.

An increasing number of large developers are recognising that the problem needs to be addressed and have introduced waste reduction programmes but the new website,, offers an alternative for smaller operators and even DIY enthusiasts.

It has been set up Checkatrade, a company set up to vet tradesmen, monitoring the quality of their work to give potential customers a third party assurance that they are honest and reliable.

A spokesperson for the company told edie that the leftovers service was not designed to make a profit and would be free to use.

“We wanted to give tradesman an environmentally friendly outlet for their leftover building materials,” said Kevin Byrne, managing director of Checkatrade.

“This website will allow tradespersons to post materials they do not have a use for and also to place requests for materials they need. They will be kept informed of what is available by an automated email system.

“Our website will also have the added bonus of allowing traders to earn a little cash back for unwanted materials.”

Sam Bond

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