Over 13 million tonnes of completely unused building materials are discarded as waste every year which is the equivalent of 5.4 billion bricks costing around £855 million and enough to build 490,000 houses; cement worth up to £1.7 billion or sand worth up to £455 million.
Construction and demolition is also responsible for 21 per cent of hazardous waste in the UK and in 2002 construction waste accounted for 24 per cent of all fly tipping incidents.
Envirowise today launched a service designed specifically to help building firms to cut down on waste.
Firms can now access a range of free support services including advice on developing and implementing site waste management plans, a range of guides and confidential on-site assessments.
Envirowise programme director Dr Martin Gibson said 'It is clear that there are huge savings to be made in the construction sector, both financial and environmental. This is particularly relevant at the moment, as the high price of oil is threatening to increase the cost of basic materials like bricks.