Employees working on construction site, wearing protective equipment and discussing next construction phase

Site Waste Reduction Protocol

19 Apr 23 3 minute read

Site Waste Reduction Protocol

Zero Waste Scotland has launched the Site Waste Reduction Protocol and Construction Waste Indicative Cost Calculator (CWIC) to make reducing site waste easier to carry out, measure and quantify. 

The protocol and Excel-based calculator will help construction professionals to accurately measure and classify site waste, identify what it has cost the business in terms of cash and help take steps to prevent losses for a more profitable and sustainable business. 

The big wins for the construction sector are in keeping materials in use for longer through more modular building design and designing materials to be easy to disassemble and re-use, and also in reducing the huge volumes of wasted materials that occur. 

The protocol is designed to help reduce waste and the Excel-based calculator tool designed by industry specialists helps site staff record and quantify everything that is being wasted. The protocol itself is a method for how to best use the calculator for accurate results, which includes guidance on monitoring skips, estimating quantities, and classifying material types. Once you have collected enough data, the calculator can produce reports that show what types of materials are being wasted most often, how much these have cost the business, and gives the data needed to calculate how much this is adding to the carbon footprint of your business. 

Why do we need to tackle waste in construction?

A staggering fifty percept of Scotland's waste results from construction-related activities. This incredible figure - half of all waste - has a huge impact on Scotland's carbon emissions. 80% of Scotland's carbon footprint comes from the materials, products, and services we use, so using less and wasting less is hugely important for achieving net zero in the construction sector. 

There are sound business reasons for addressing waste, beyond environmental responsibility. The cost of materials is soaring. Material scarcity is becoming more common in a volatile global market. So keeping waste to a minimum allows you to do more with less, maximising profit and reducing your emissions at the same time. 

50% of Scotland's waste comes from construction related activities

How can I tackle construction waste?

The best way to tackle construction waste is to measure it, find out where and why it's happening, and then take steps to tackle it. The Site Waste Reduction Protocol is a new industry standard to help you do exactly that. 

Photo of an yellow rubbish container at a construction site

What is the Site Waste Reduction Protocol?

The Site Waste Reduction Protocol is a set of rules developed by Zero Waste Scotland to help you measure site waste in a standardised way, so you can get a consistent and comprehensive picture of how much waste is being produced across all of your construction sites. It will ensure you measure waste in the same way across all sites so you can benchmark effectively and see where good practice is having an impact.

The protocol works hand in hand with the accompanying Construction Waste Indicative Costs Calculator (CWIC), which will give you indicative cost savings and other important information.