Reducing Waste to Landfill in the UK: Identifying Impediments and Critical Solutions

Lukumon Oyedele, R Martin, Jason Von Meding, Ashraf Ahmed, A Elnokaly

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    – The UK construction industry produces up to one third of all waste to landfill. This study aims to identify specific project practices impeding the reduction of waste in construction projects as well as uncovering potential waste solutions throughout the project delivery process. The rationale being that for such a drastic reduction in waste to landfill, holistic and extensive measures would be required.

    – A two‐way methodological approach was used. This comprised qualitative unstructured interviews and a quantitative questionnaire survey of three major stakeholders in the UK construction industry: clients, architects and contractors.

    – Design factors remain the major cause of impediments to waste reduction to landfill. Critical impediments include clients making waste prevention a top priority in projects, overly complex designs, waste taking a low priority compared to project time and costs, lack of concerns by designers for buildability, among others. Critical solutions include early supply chain involvement in design process, choosing materials for their durability, early communication of design changes to all parties, longer project programmes and better lead times, among others.

    Practical implications
    – In all, the target of halving construction waste to landfill based on the 2008 benchmark is achievable but would require construction companies to take it upon themselves to implement the proposed solutions suggested by this study.

    – The value of this research is to provide UK construction companies with solutions to reduce waste and aid the reaching of the landfill target, as landfill is decreasing as a solution to waste. In addition the cost savings on reducing waste could be crucial for companies in this current economic climate.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)131-142
    JournalWorld Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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