UK releases recycled guide for builders


With the likely introduction of Site Waste Management Plans as a regulatory requirement in England this year, coupled with annual increases in Landfill Tax, more recycled materials will be available to incorporate into building products. Provision of reliable data on composition will therefore assist project teams deliver materials efficiency through more accurately informed product substitution.


Developed in conjunction with BRE, product manufacturers and their trade associations, this publication takes into account the 2007 European Commission guidance on the classification of wastes, co-products and by-products and sets out the rules by which materials can be classed as recycled. It contains examples from several major product types of how the recycled content percentage has been determined and directs the reader to further information sources to help evaluate and increase recycled content.


Mark Collinson at WRAP was involved in commissioning the research; he explains: “We recognise that if clients and their project teams are going to be able to respond to environmental policy targets and accurately assess contributions to the recycled content of a building project, information is needed on the recycled content of products. More specifically, recycled content data are required on a brand by brand basis to enable the cost-effective, informed substitution of one brand for another of the same product within the chosen design specification.”


Steve Hunt, Project Manager, British Board of Agrément (BBA) comments further on the guide’s relevance for industry: "At the BBA, we are aware of the increasing drive for product manufacturers to identify and promote the recycled content of their products through their BBA Certificates. The Rules of Thumb Guide to Recycled Content in Construction Products is based on the European Commission’s by-product guidance and decision tree, that lays down guidance on what constitutes recycled content for manufacturers and suppliers, and provides the beginnings of a framework for us to validate the content."

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