The Efficacy of Waste Management Plans in Australian Commercial Construction Refurbishment Projects

Mary Hardie
Shahed Khan
Angela O'Donnell
Graham Miller


Renovation and refurbishment of the existingcommercial building stock is a growing area oftotal construction activity and a significantgenerator of waste sent to landfill in Australia. Awritten waste management plan (WMP) is awidespread regulatory requirement forcommercial office redevelopment projects. Thereis little evidence, however, that WMPs actuallyincrease the quantity of waste that is ultimatelydiverted from landfill. Some reports indicate anabsence of any formal verification or monitoringprocess by regulators to assess the efficacy ofthe plans. In order to gauge the extent of theproblem a survey was conducted of twenty fourconsultants and practitioners involved incommercial office building refurbishment projectsto determine the state of current practice withregard to WMPs and to elicit suggestions withregard to ways of making the process moreeffective. Considerable variation in commitmentto recycling policies was encountered indicatinga need to revisit waste minimisation practices ifthe environmental performance of refurbishmentprojects is to be improved.

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