In these days of austerity measures and concerns about a ‘double dip’ recession, environmental responsibility seems to have dropped off the political agenda somewhat and out of our collective consciousness.  However, reducing waste minimising costs go hand in hand and if installation teams adopted more of a ‘reduce, re-use, recycle’ culture they could reduce both the job’s environmental impact and their overheads.

Site Waste Management Plans Regulations have been put in force to help address the issue of the amount of wasted site materials being sent to landfill and yet the problem continues.  Instead of over-ordering on a just-in-case or guess-timate basis, contractors should be looking to their suppliers to help them order only the amount of materials needed.  Suppliers can help with this not only by offering technical support to help with specification and quantities but also by ensuring that their supply chain can provide a fast turnaround on orders, removing the need for anxiety about under-ordering. There may also be other help available: Cablofil, for example, has devised a free online software tool, Cablosoft, to help contractors accurately determine how much Cablofil product they will actually need to complete the job and receive an accurate estimate.

The issue is not only about what you order in the first place, however, it’s about managing waste on site throughout the project.  Only by monitoring the waste on site during the programme can any issues be addressed by recycling, for example, or reducing an order that has yet to be delivered.  Of course, some materials lend themselves to recycling more than others; the Cablofil system can be re-used but this does not seem to prevent some contractors from over ordering and wasting materials on site.  This means that a re-useable and recyclable material is going to waste.  Similarly, waste can be dramatically reduced simply by selecting products that use less packaging and suppliers can help address this problem too be ensuring that packaging is minimised all the way down the supply chain.

When the key pressures on site revolve around finishing on time, to standard and within budget, ‘softer’ issues like waste management are often overlooked. In fact, however, managing waste effectively saves time, underpins a quality approach and reduces costs so, in reality, it’s not a fad that we can ill afford but a fundamental that we cannot afford to overlook.

Tim Brown

National Sales manager

Cablofil UK

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