Environmental Assessment

Site waste management plan

Regulations introduced in April 2008 require a site waste management plan (SWMP) for all construction projects worth more than £300,000. The plan must be updated at least every three months as the development progresses and the plan must be maintained for at least two years after completion. The aim of the plan is to cut waste, and increase reuse and recycling.

The level of detail required in the plan depends on the estimated build cost but may include the following elements:

  • types of waste removed from the site
  • identity of the organisation that removed the waste
  • a description of the waste
  • site that the waste was taken to
  • environmental permit or exemption held by site where the material is taken

Currently, more emphasis is being placed on the reuse, recycling or treatment of contaminated soil. Where soils need treatment before they can be reused, or there is no certain use for them when they are excavated, they are deemed to be ‘waste’. As such they need to be moved, treated and used under a permit or valid exemption, or under the ‘Definition of Waste: Development Industry Code of Practice’.

The last option requires the work to be reviewed by a ‘qualified person’ who, once satisfied, signs and submits a declaration to the Environment Agency. This speeds up the process as the work can then be undertaken outside the environmental permitting system.