Builders come bottom of recycling league

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Builders come bottom of recycling league according to a survey carried out byBusinessWaste.co.uk

Builders waste management poor at best
Builders waste management poor at best

Most builders are not known for their tidiness but it turns out plumbers and electricians come well above builders who themselves come bottom of the league table when it comes to site waste management and recycling, according a national waste company. BusinessWaste.co.uk have also found that the construction sector has fallen behind the rest of industry on waste issues.

plumbers and electricians often recover every last scrap of waste from their job to insure it ends up recycled or put in the right bin, and it’s their example that the rest of the trade needs to follow to minimise their spend on waste removal but this could be something to do with the materials they use which can be redeemed in value.

“It’s probably because plumbers know the value of their waste that they make sure that they clean up after themselves,” said BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesman Mark Hall, “but that doesn’t mean to say that all plumbers and sparks are complete angels”.

Controlling and recycling waste can be cost effective and help others around you by using the right waste bin.

“You’ve got a lot of people coming and going all the time, and it’s tough filling them in on site procedures. To some, one skip or bin looks very much like another, so there’s always the problem of cross-contamination of waste,” says Mark Hall. “More waste means more money being spent on its management. These are important lessons for the construction sector.”

BusinessWaste.co.uk asked lots of different workers in the construction trade about their rubbish habits, and found that builders’ and bricklayers’ reputations went before them when it came to leaving waste behind. According to BW, when asked which trades were best and worst at sorting their waste, they were ranked from worst to best like this:

8.Builders and bricklayer

7.Groundworks

6.Plasterers

5.Painters and decorators

4.Scaffolders

3.Carpenters

2.Electricians

1.Plumbers

The league table only tells part of the story, says BusinessWaste.co.uk – construction trade workers were not slow to point out their colleagues’ bad habits.

  • Ged, who’s a site foreman told us: “We’ve got builders and labourers who just chuck the wreckage from their lunch in the wrong skip, and somebody’s got to fish it out before we get fined. That somebody’s usually me, isn’t it?”
  • Gregor, who’s a labourer, owns up: “You’re right. My van is real mess, I never throw anything out until I have to, and then it’s straight in the skip. And yeah, I’m rubbish at dealing with my rubbish at the end of the day. But that’s the work experience lad’s job, isn’t it?”
  • Farooq, who is a painter and decorator after starting out as a labourer said: “You just watch some people throw wood off-cuts in the metals bins, or plaster waste going in with the wood. It’s not exactly difficult, is it?”
  • Bricklayer Michael told BW: “You see the plumbers going off to their vans for their lunch, they take every scrap on rubbish with them. They’re like magpies.

However, despite their reputation for site cleanliness, some plumbers and electricians – supposedly the tidiest in the trade – own up to their own bad habits

  • Jim says: “Sure, I take every last scrap of plumbing waste home with me, because I might need it on another job. The garage is full of bits and pieces, and it drives my wife up the wall.”
  • Meanwhile, electrician Bob (who didn’t want to use his real name) told us that he’s guilty of one of the worst sins in the book: “I’m sometimes too tired to drop my rubbish off at the tip, and I’ll just hide it in my domestic bin, under a rubbish bag. I know it’s a bit illegal, but at least it’s not fly-tipping.”
  • Bob’s risking a fine if he’s caught mixing trade waste with domestic rubbish, BusinessWaste.co.uk says. And the fine could be unlimited if any tradesman resorts to fly-tipping rather than recycling on site, or delivering their waste to the local tip where they’ll pay trade rates.

    There’s a serious message behind this, says BusinessWaste.co.uk ‘s Mark Hall. The building trade lags behind the rest of industry when it comes to recycling and it’s costing them money.