London UK - AT a meeting in London on 25 March 2010 the National Federation of Demolition Contractors (NFDC) pledged support, with the assistance of BRE (the former Building Research Establishment), to set a new target to recycle 90 per cent of UK non-hazardous demolition waste. This will be reviewed in 2011.
Speaking at the event, Howard Button, NFDC chief executive, said that the target is currently being exceeded by his members, but he expressed concern that it might be less achievable in future because of the increasing levels of composite and complex material to be found in more recently constructed buildings, unless more was incinerated rather than recycled.
The target was one of many set by the UK government in its Strategy for Sustainable Construction produced in 2008.
Above: Strategy for Sustainable Construction June 2008, signed by Shriti Vadera, Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (BERR), Caroline Flint Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG), Margaret Hodge, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Phil Woolas Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Ian Pearson Department for Innovation, Universities & Skills (DIUS), William Jordan Office of Government Commerce (OGC) Centre for Expertise in Sustainable Procurement, and Mike Davies Chair of the Strategic Forum for Construction.
In 2007 92 per cent of the 32m tonnes of demolition materials were either recycled and used on the site from which they were demolished or sent offsite. In order to meet their new target, NFDC members will need to divert an extra 6m tonnes from landfill by 2012. This should be relatively easy, but it was said at the meeting that there was anecdotal evidence some old industrial and office building owners were finding it cheaper to knock buildings down than pay the rates. This was good for the demolition industry, but not good for meeting targets for carbon emissions. More than one demolition person at the meeting said that there is no demand for reclaimed timber, which was suprising to the reclamation people present.
Mr. Button said that the NFDC will continue to work with other stakeholders to identify and implement solutions to maximise recovery. This will include training, reduction of environmental impacts, research, development and measurement. It was now mandatory for NFDC members to complete an annual return of volumes of materials handled.
During the meeting Salvo agreed to work with the NFDC to encourage more reclamation and reuse, including another Construction Skills Red Card Training Day for reclamation and salvage on CDM demolition sites, the last of which was more than two years ago.
Strategy for Sustainable Construction