New tool gives construction materials a longer life

It’s now easier than ever for the construction industry to exchange and re-use materials, thanks to the newly-updated Construction Material Exchange tool from Resource Efficient Scotland.

21 Aug 13

The tool aims to help tackle the 7.4 million tonnes of waste which is currently produced by the Scottish construction industry each year – the largest source of waste in Scotland.

Building on the original tool which was launched in November 2012, materials can be posted online and exchanged with another party for re-use, diverting the material from landfill, reducing costs of disposal and material purchasing and extending the life of the material.

The tool has been updated to allow a more user friendly and intuitive journey.  New features of the tool include:

  • Now fully mobile enabled, allowing easy access when out and about;
  • Easier upload of materials which are being offered; and
  • In addition to being able to make the materials available to all users, there is now an option to offer materials for re-use within your own organisation only.

The Construction Material Exchange tool can be accessed at

Iain Gulland, Director of Zero Waste Scotland, which delivers the Resource Efficient Scotland programme said:

“The construction industry has already made significant progress in reducing the amount of waste being produced, however there’s still more to be done and this tool can help to target the materials left over at the end of the construction process.

“Not only does this make environmental sense, it can also save companies money, minimising landfill charges and reducing waste management costs.

“I hope that construction companies across Scotland will make use of this invaluable new tool, helping us to reduce waste in the industry and move towards becoming a zero waste society.”

The Construction Material Exchange tool was developed with help from partners including Yooz, one of the UK’s largest DIY re-use centres; Graham’s Construction; and Perth and Kinross Council.

Ian E Strachan, Chief Executive, Yooz, said:

“At a time when both legislation and client expectation around waste and CSR may seem onerous and punitive – this practical tool gives an opportunity to turn reusable waste back into a resource – a positive story delivering cost reduction and environmental benefits.  As a thriving social enterprise specialising in construction materials reuse and helping companies deliver on their CSR commitments, we are excited by the increased opportunities that this tool will bring.”

Lianne Rafferty, Environmental Manager, GRAHAM Construction, said:

“In understanding the requirement to implement the waste hierarchy and the importance of reuse of materials, the Zero Waste Scotland Construction Material Exchange tool is an excellent means of finding reuse opportunities for materials, thereby diverting such materials from landfill.”

Yvonne Bell, Waste Services, Perth and Kinross Council, said:

“The Construction Materials Exchange Website enables businesses to save money on disposal costs and improve their green credentials by passing on for reuse any unwanted but usable building materials or other items from projects across Scotland.

“The website is very similar to Freecycle or Freegle but is purely for the commercial sector so it really supports the ethos of a Resource Efficient Scotland and the work already being done in the sector to reduce the amount of waste which goes to landfill.”

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