Tuesday, December 09, 2008

BigREc Survey shows predicted decline in reuse between 1998 and 2007

London UK - THE report on the BigREc 2 Survey was launched in St Pancras, London last Thursday 4th December 2008 with presentations and talks by Gilli Hobbs and Katherine Adams of BRE, Thornton Kay of Salvo and Steve Tomlin of Masco.

The report had been commissioned by BRE in 2006 and was carried out in 2006 – 2007. The results showed that, overall, the reclaimed part of the reclamation trade had declined since 1998, although some sectors of the trade, reclaimed bricks and architectural woodwork for example, had increased.

Anecdotal evidence that the government push for recycling, spearheaded by WRAP, had diverted materials away from reuse and towards crushing and chipping, seemed to be confirmed by the survey, with total volumes down from 2.96m tonnes in 1998 to 2.23m in 2007. Employment was also down from 39,000 in 1998 to 25,800 in 2007.

The BigREc survey was in two parts: Yellow Postcards and the main BigREc survey questionnaires comprising 19 material sectors ranging from salvaged concrete to antique bathrooms

2,043 Yellow Postcards were sent out of which 1,900 were valid, and 180 were returned (compared to 1200 sent out of which 288 were returned in 1998). These gave an indication of the total size of the market, the type of business and sales turnover of each respondent.

323 BigREc main survey questionnaires were sent out of which 36 were completed (88 completed in 1998) comprising of a 28 page booklet with 235 questions in total. The survey gave detailed info on volumes, stocks, suppliers, customers, distances goods travel, employment and standards of supply.

The Yellow Postcards and BigREc Survey were two separate surveys which corroborated each other to an extent.

It is a long job answering 235 questions and after the failure of the BigREc survey of 1998 to make any impact on policy (in fact government policy moved against reuse after the survey was published in 2000) unsurprisingly there was less enthusiasm for completing the survey this time.

The Yellow Postcards went into a draw for a free Salvo mag subscription worth £50 (won by Anglia Building Supplies in Essex) and the BigREc main survey went into a draw for a free stand at Salvo Fair worth up to £750 (won by David Nightingale of 3A Roofing in Suffolk).

Nine businesses completed both surveys in 1998 and 2007 – it would have been eleven but two have since gone completely out of salvage and into new manufacture. Accuracy is an issue with this survey, comparative shifts are more reliable than absolute figures.

The Yellow Postcard and BigREc 2 survey was undertaken by Thornton Kay of Salvo Llp.

Construction Resources Waste Platform BigREc Survey Report 2008

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