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Brittany Harris, the CEO of Qflow, addresses concerns about construction waste mismanagement and discrepancies in diversion from landfills. Despite industry claims of a 99% diversion rate, a recent study conducted by Qflow revealed a realistic rate of around 87%.

Challenges in Waste Management

Manual waste management processes lead to inaccuracies, with significant portions of construction waste ending up in landfills. Qflow’s assessment of over 90,000 Waste Transfer Notes (WTNs) between June 2018 and April 2023 highlighted substantial non-compliance issues.

Lack of Accountability and Root Causes

The construction sector’s significant consumption of raw materials and landfill contribution underscore the need for improved waste management strategies. While initiatives like the Digital Waste Tracking Service offer promise, involving waste producers early on and emphasising the consequences of non-compliance are essential to curbing the waste problem.

Enforcement and Improvement

Brittany emphasises the importance of effective follow-up measures and enforcement to prompt positive change. Non-compliant waste producer audits could potentially yield substantial fines, which, if utilised for waste management improvements, could significantly aid in decarbonising construction and minimising waste.

Redefining Industry Responsibility

To achieve material circularity and sustainability in construction, Brittany advocates for genuine accountability across all stakeholders. Architects, builders, and regulators must take collective responsibility to minimise waste generation and reshape the industry’s waste narrative.

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