another decade of waste or something different?

One of the potentially more powerful influences that could shape future thinking on waste and waste management that emerged during the ‘noughties’ is Cradle to Cradle, Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough & Michael Braungart

This is a subject I have blogged, twittered, presented and included in workshops on many occasions, but recent musings led me to think just what the coming decade in construction could look like if C2C thinking was adopted.

In particular projecting the ‘waste is stupid’ concept forward how will our approach to waste change?

So lets stand in the future, lets say 2019, where we have passed a good number of the known milestones on zero carbon and sustainable construction, and look back at how our attitude to waste matured.

2010 There is a general awakening and awareness in general business, government and society to the disproportionate contribution that construction makes in terms to waste and associated carbon emissions.

2011 Now seen as the rubicon year in which construction waste started to be seen as socially, economically and environmentally unacceptable, (as asbestos, tobacco and smoking)

2012 50% reduction to landfill target only just achieved and disputed by many. Realisation that the real cost of waste is not in landfill but in creation of waste in the first instance even if waste is recycled or reused

2012 Reusable Protection Solutions (RPS) introduced that start to eliminate waste from packaging. Some RPS items seen as desirable design objects and used as furniture.

2013 Resources, including waste managers and waste ‘budgets’ diverted into avoiding waste and managing waste out, with no costs budgeted for waste management. Waste starts to become a real design issue

2013 Achievement of Zero Waste becomes a reality and a key industry KPI and target.

2014 Recycling now seen as a performance indicator of the design sector and  limited to materials arising from demolition and buildings taken out of commission.

2014 Site Waste Management Plans replaced by Material Re-Use Plans (Materials incorporated into designs and construction must have a reuse identified should wastage occur and at end of building life)

2015 Contract procurement of design teams, contractors and subcontractors majors on the ability and past evidence of eliminating waste and producing

2016 Savings from zero waste costs offset initial investment in sustainable construction and energy conservation measures

2017 Recycling now seen as a key element of the design sector as recycled materials are created with planned future use.

2017 Reduction in material supply sector output as the efficiency of construction improves.

2017 Construction profits increase

2018 Construction costs reduce in line with improved quality and waste reduction

2019 The traditional landfill and waste sector shrinks to a negligible level.

2019 Waste transportation, particularly skips, seen as quaint and laughable method from the past decade, “very noughties”

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