It is clear that we have a duty to reduce the amount of waste we are producing.
On average 13 per cent of materials delivered to site goes into the skip without being used.
One of the measures being implemented by the Government to try and help construction companies address waste issues is by making site waste management plans a legal requirement of all build projects over £250,000 from April.
The workforce needs to be provided with the training and tools it needs to become skilled in modern and sustainable building techniques, including on-site waste management.
The National Construction College has been working with the Environmental Consultancy of the University of Sheffield to help develop and deliver a series of sustainability courses.
Waste awareness training
Recycling and waste management are two key areas that construction firms are being forced to look at seriously and in a move to address this the NCC has introduced its Waste Management On Site course, aimed at graduates, construction managers and project managers.
The course identifies the types of waste as well as providing an understanding of the legal responsibilities of companies. It also looks at the roles and responsibilities of waste regulators and licensed carriers.
Understanding how to reduce, re-use and recycle waste can help save money and reduce environmental impact.
Delegates learn how to improve the management of waste and how to produce site waste management plans.
A half-day course provides an introduction to the subject for operatives and supervisors.
Passing on the expertise
One of the companies that has benefited from our courses is Palmer Construction, a building and civil engineering company based in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.
We worked closely with Palmer’s health & safety and training manager, Shaun Wheatley.
He wanted to ensure that the workforce would be provided with the training they need to become skilled in modern, sustainable building techniques.
Mr Wheatley initially attended one of the pilot sustainability courses at the National Construction College and then went on to attend four sustainability modules at ECUS, covering topics from water and power management to waste.
Following the completion of the sustainability courses, Palmer Construction integrated some of the training into the company’s future employee training plans.
Each sustainability course has been developed to address different issues affecting the built environment. There is still a long way to go, but by providing people with the training and knowledge they need, we can help to build a sustainable future.
David Boyden is director of the National Construction College