Contractors through site management have a major impact on reuse of materials during the construction phase. Up to 80 per cent of on-site construction materials are reusable including wood, metal, glass, plastic, slate, tiles, cardboard, fixtures and fittings, windows, doors and fixed furniture items. Some construction waste can be re-used directly on site, including topsoil and excavated rock can be reused for landscaping.

Reusing construction materials gains importance when demolishing old buildings and can reduce costs in procuring new materials or provide income from selling used materials whilst also reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill which is also costly.

Material reuse should be considered during the planning and design phases in order to maximise reuse during construction.

A pre-demolition audit of existing buildings on a site can be used to identify waste arisings and how they might be used in a new development. A designated person should be responsible for waste management who can inform others of correct on site procedures including designated areas on the site to place recyclable materials such as wood, concrete, paintings, metal and materials, clearly marking, and place waste bins and containers for different materials. An inventory of waste materials should be kept to enable effective reuse or sale to other sites or processes. All workers should be aware of the site waste management process and why it is important.

What should I do?

Prepare a pre-demolition audit of existing buildings and look at opportunities for reuse of all materials on site and at other locations.

WLGA - CLILC Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru / Welsh Assembly Government