Investigating the extent to which waste management legislation affects waste management practices within the UK construction industry

Solomon Adjei, Nii Ankrah, Issaka Ndekugri, David Searle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication

Abstract

Studies on construction, demolition and excavation (CD&E) waste management (WM) suggest that among many success factors for ensuring sustainable management of waste, government legislation is the most critical. In the UK, there has been different legislation targeting the management of waste of which CD&E waste is a priority stream. To determine the criticality of waste legislation in the management of CD&E waste, this research investigated the drivers that dictate the WM strategies of construction firms. The study was conducted through a multiple case study approach using four construction firms who received awards for their environmental management and sustainability practices on their construction sites in 2013. Data was collected through interviews with the sustainability and environmental managers of the companies who have the overall responsibility for WM strategy in their firms and review of the environmental and waste policy documents of these firms. The results suggest that, although government legislation plays a role in the WM strategy of these companies, legislation is not the most critical driver for WM practices as firms pursue WM for other reasons such as, cost reduction, company sustainability agenda, client demands, company image, and industry benchmarking. The research concludes that, to ensure sustainable management of CD&E waste, more attention should be directed at these other reasons for which firms manage waste. For legislators, proactive enforcement approaches which can detect and prosecute for non-compliance will make legislation a key driver. Legislation should also be tied to financial incentives and targets should include the client whose demands act as a key driver. For clients to make more inputs, their demands can also be tied to cost implications as this is the number one driver for contractors. For contractors, sustainable WM should be pursued as it makes good economic sense through cost reduction on projects and increase in the possibility of winning work from environmentally aware clients.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 31st Annual Association of Researchers in Construction Management Conference, ARCOM 2015
EditorsAni Raiden, Emmanuel Aboagye-Nimo
PublisherAssociation of Researchers in Construction Management
Pages237-246
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780955239090
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sep 2015
Event31st Annual Association of Researchers in Construction Management Conference, ARCOM 2015 - Lincoln, United Kingdom
Duration: 7 Sep 20159 Sep 2015

Conference

Conference31st Annual Association of Researchers in Construction Management Conference, ARCOM 2015
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLincoln
Period7/09/159/09/15

Keywords

  • Construction and demolition waste
  • Drivers
  • Waste legislation
  • Waste management practice
  • Waste management strategy

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