North Ayrshire Council signs up to cut out waste from construction

North Ayrshire Council is joining a UK-wide scheme to reduce the amount of construction, demolition and excavation waste being sent to landfill.

12 Sep 12

It becomes the fifth local authority in Scotland to sign up to the Halving Waste to Landfill Commitment, a UK-wide voluntary agreement which is being driven forward and promoted in Scotland by Zero Waste Scotland.

The Council’s decision to sign up to the Halving Waste to Landfill Commitment comes at a time of major investment in North Ayrshire’s schools. 

Later this year a state-of-the-art primary school will open in Dreghorn and work is planned on other schools in the area.   

Over 700 tonnes of soil and stones from the new Dreghorn Primary School site was either re-used or recycled while approximately 90% of all other construction waste from site has been recycled. 

The UK construction industry is responsible for 120 million tonnes of waste each year, which is the largest source of waste in the UK at almost a third of the total. 

North Ayrshire Council already boasts a commendable record when it comes to improving waste reduction and recycling efforts, with recycling figures for the past year placing them as the fourth best performing local authority in the country.  Zero Waste Scotland aims to help individuals, local authorities, and businesses to reduce waste, recycle more, and use resources sustainably, including offering specialist support to key industries such as the construction sector.   

Councillor John Ferguson, Cabinet Member for Environment and Infrastructure at North Ayrshire Council, signed the agreement on behalf of the council. He said: 

“Signing this agreement marks another significant step in North Ayrshire Council’s commitment to reduce waste and recycle more across all our operations.  We are working hard to be greener and more sustainable in everything we do. 

“The real value of joining this initiative is in its potential to see the Council realise cost savings as well as helping the environment.  Becoming more efficient makes financial sense and we are making concerted efforts to achieve this.  We hope this will provide an example which other local organisations will follow.”

According to Zero Waste Scotland, the Halving Waste to Landfill initiative is environmentally and financially critical due to the increasing costs of waste disposal from construction, which is the largest source of waste in the Scotland.  In addition, construction produces a range of materials suitable for recycling, which will help prevent valuable resources going to waste and help Scotland to meet its ambitious recycling targets. 

Allan Sandilands, Zero Waste Scotland, said:   

“As the fifth local authority to join the agreement, North Ayrshire Council joins Fife, Perth and Kinross, Glasgow and Dumfries and Galloway in making a clear commitment to reduce waste and save money in the process. 

“The Halving Waste to Landfill Commitment is approaching the end of its 4 year life span in December and the success of the commitment overall will be reviewed.  However it is already known that significant progress has been made by signatories, and we are now considering what a new commitment could look like with even more ambitious targets to work towards.   

“The benefits of embedding the Halving Waste to Landfill principles are that the measures involved are timeless and provide an excellent structure for continuous improvement. By tackling construction waste proactively, North Ayrshire Council can improve their performance, help to lead the way in sustainable practices, and look ahead to their next step on the resource efficiency journey. 

“In Fife alone, almost £150,000 was saved last year thanks to better management of construction waste. 

“We hope other local authorities will follow suit before the end of the year and make a commitment to becoming more conscientious when it comes to construction waste.  Achieving our vision for zero waste will require everyone to play their part.” 

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