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Pathway To Zero Waste announce new initiative to reduce demolition and excavation waste

New initiative – European Pathway To Zero Waste – to extend scope and pioneer innovative approaches

Pathway To Zero Waste has announced the activities that it will deliver over the remaining months of the programme to ensure it leaves a legacy of enduring change across the South East.

The projects are all focused on construction, demolition and excavation (CD&E) waste which accounts for 40 per cent of all material sent to landfill in the region. They include:

publishing recommendations for local authorities on using the planning process to stimulate the development of reuse and recycling facilities and reduce volumes of CD&E waste sent to landfill

developing business cases for two new construction materials recycling facilities (CMRFs) in the South East

publishing feasibility studies and costed action plans for developing a trade association and single point of access web portal for the South East’s CD&E waste reuse and exchange organisations

publishing a report to identify options to help develop markets for contaminated wood waste

disseminating guidance for small construction companies on how to reduce the volumes of waste they produce.

In addition, PTZW will continue to work directly with construction and waste management companies in the South East to help limit the amount of waste produced and increase the proportion that is reused or recycled.

PTZW aims to have directly influenced the diversion of 470,000 tonnes from landfill before the programme ends on 31 March 2010 delivering the following benefits:

£4.7m cost savings
87 jobs created
14,262 tonnes carbon emissions avoided
188,500 transport miles averted
180,000 tonnes virgin material saved.

"When PTZW was launched in March 2009, our aim was to deliver a significant, measurable contribution to halving volumes of CD&E waste sent to landfill in the South East by 2011 against a 2008 baseline," said Martyn Cheesbrough, PTZW Project Director.

"It’s too early to say if CD&E waste volumes will be halved, but what we do know already is that PTZW is preventing a significant amount of material from going to landfill.

"We’re pleased with what we’ve achieved so far, but more importantly, through the projects we’re announcing today, we intend to change behaviour for the long-term and leave an enduring legacy that will see volumes of CD&E waste decline steadily for years to come."

More information on these projects will be available over the coming weeks.

Extending the scope
PTZW ends on 31 March 2011, but its sister programme, European Pathway To Zero Waste (EPOW), will extend the zero waste approach in the South East to focus on the development of markets and supply chains for sustainable materials as well as provision of business support, to encourage wise management of waste and resources.

EPOW, an EU demonstration project, is a partnership between the Environment Agency and the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA). It focuses on commercial and industrial waste and will demonstrate the results of its pilots across the UK and to relevant EU regions.

"Our objective is to investigate the feasibility of innovative approaches to achieving zero waste to landfill through pilot trials in the South East. From this we will uncover results and learnings that we can share across the UK and with other EU regions," said Margaret Doherty, EPOW Programme Director."

Running until December 2012, the pilots include:
New quality protocols for materials handled by the recycling and recovery industry and its customers. EPOW will work alongside industry to look at if and how certain wastes can be turned into valuable materials that bear a quality stamp of approval. Recycling under the new protocols could reduce regulation, create significant legislative cost savings and boost sales for business as well as diverting waste from landfill and back into beneficial use

Innovative approaches to tackle waste crime to make it more difficult for unscrupulous companies to do business and encourage legitimate businesses to operate under the correct legislation. This will create a more level playing field for legitimate businesses to prosper

A commodity market for materials that are classified as non waste – such as those produced through waste recovery to quality protocol standards – that will provide a standardised trading platform allowing customers to buy unseen

New methods of collecting, converting and presenting data to provide transparency on where waste is going throughout the supply chain, to assist with target setting and evaluation and to help drive more waste into recycling.

EPOW will also:
Drive procurement of sustainable materials and services through working with and providing support for Local Authorities and the private sector. This will create demand for recycled products and services, supporting materials recovery and reprocessing businesses

Create educational tools and services to help commercial and industrial waste producers understand how to comply with waste legislation and understand how to effectively put their waste into reuse

Provide expert advice for South East business on improving their resource efficiency including the use of products with recycled content and how to reduce their waste going to landfill

Create partnerships between local authorities, the waste management industry and waste producers to encourage investment in new recycling and recovery infrastructure and tackle the barriers to development. As part of this, EPOW will look at how infrastructure may be able to address the protection and recovery of critical raw materials which are globally in short supply.

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