What Is a Site Waste Management Plan and Does My Business Need One?

There is no such thing as a construction project without waste – and it’s the job of project managers to establish a plan to deal with the produced waste in the most effective and environmentally-friendly manner possible. That’s where site waste management plans can help. In this article, we’ll cover exactly what these plans consist of, why you could benefit from one, and how to create one for your project.

What is a site waste management plan?

A site waste management plan (SWMP) is created to enable managers on construction projects to plan and strategise how any waste from the site will be managed or disposed of. They must be produced at the start of the project, and monitored throughout the project.

SWMPs may cover:

  • Decisions regarding which waste management contractors will be hired to collect and dispose of the site waste
  • Which types of waste are likely to be generated from the construction site
  • The volume of waste likely to be generated throughout the project
  • Which techniques will be used to manage which types of waste e.g. recycled, reused or reduced
  • Who will be the responsible persons in regards to waste disposal

Why is a site waste management plan needed?

Site waste management plans used to be compulsory by law for builds worth over £300,000, under the Site Waste Management Plans Regulations (2008), but their compulsory nature was repealed in 2013.

Despite this, it is highly recommended for all project managers to produce this planning document – this is for a number of reasons:

Saves you money: Creating a plan of how you will manage waste and resources is bound to save you money, as you will be able to efficiently control the storage and use of all resources and produced waste. This will also allow you to devise new ways of cutting costs.

Protects the environment: Waste is a problem for the planet, and it’s now more important than ever to reduce waste, recycle where possible and reduce the risk your waste poses to the local, and wider, environment.

Strengthens your reputation and business prospects: Companies who value the environment are often held in high regard, and therefore implementing a SWMP will boost your profile and enhance your reputation, helping you secure more tenders in the future.

Who needs a site waste management plan?

Whoever is managing the project, usually the construction project manager or principal contractor, will be responsible for creating a site waste management plan. When it was law, they were only required for projects where the cost will be more than £300,000, with even further detail required for projects over £500,000. As these plans are no longer compulsory, it is the decision of the project manager to assess whether a SWMP would be beneficial.  

How do I get a site waste management plan?

A site waste management plan should be created during the earliest stages of construction design, and updated throughout the duration of the project.

The SMWP should be written and maintained by one responsible person, namely a principal contractor or construction manager, who will be in charge of this document and the way in which employees adhere to it. The document should cover details of the waste, including the type, volume, how it will be measured, how it will be disposed, and who will be responsible for disposing of it.

Here at Brown Recycling, we understand the ins and outs of waste management. If you’re seeking reliable waste management services or skip hire for your construction project, whatever the size of project, look no further than our experienced team. Get in touch today to discover more.


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