Earth Exchange (Be2camp)


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Presentation delivered at Be2Camp Working Buildings 8th October 2009.

A background on the UK construction waste problem and a background to how the Earth Exchange website works to divert materials from landfill and enable sustainable procurement using online mapping.

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  • Read out Three things here: Imperative is a very strong word Waste as a resource – not waste as a waste We (public sector?) enable the creation of markets
  • Definition of wastes “a substance or object…which the Producer or the person in possession discards or intends to discard or is required to discard .” Discard? No absolute definition. Case law established through the EC courts. Each case must be considered on merit
  • Turning specially to the UK construction sector, Here are some often quoted numbers. The UK construction sector is the biggest consumer of natural resources using over 400 million tonnes The amount of waste produced is however about one third of the UK’s total waste arisings accounting for some 120 million tonnes (also worth noting that the mining and quarrying sector produces another 95 million tonnes – another third of the UK waste arisngs) House of Lords Report “Waste Reduction” – Domestic wastes 31 million (15% of C&D and Q&M wastes) Of those construction wastes about half are recovered: There are Three issues here: Not enough materials recovery in construction A large ‘stockpile’ of existing recovered materials for re-use – further massiveeffiencies to be gained Make inroads into construction (and quarrying/mining) waste recovery rates the UK will rocket up that league table from 13 th to about 4 th – political incentive then
  • Think of a construction site as a market stall It’s the only market Where the market trader packs up & moves to location at any time And does not tell his buyers where he’s gone to, Nor tell anyone exactly what he’s selling nor does he tell his suppliers what we wants and when he wants it!! Sounds a recipe for disaster!! And it is
  • As I said earlier - Construction projects are ephemeral in nature – they are not permanent features in the landscape. And to add more complication, any given construction programme will require materials imported or exported to or from site at any given moment in time. And to add yet another level of complexity – that construction programme will invariably change thereby materials import/export requirements constantly change This is perhaps the real nub of the construction waste/sustainable procurement problem – knee jerk reaction of off site muck away mentality due to ever changing programmes and construction demands – it is always the main excuse when you talk to the site manager In order for companies, or should I say sites, to cut waste a change in attitude at the site level is needed which can only be brought along by something which makes their life easier and they can see the immediate benefit to their site management and cost savings
  • Earth Exchange (Be2camp)

    1. 1. Online Maps for Sustainable Procurement and Waste Minimisation in Construction Alex Albon (@earthexchange)
    2. 2. Message From (Near) The Top! <ul><li>“ It is imperative that we start to think of waste as a resource wherever possible. Against a challenging economic background it is more important than ever that we enable businesses to find a market for materials which would otherwise be disposed of as waste” </li></ul><ul><li>The Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP </li></ul><ul><li>Secretary of State for Environment, Food </li></ul><ul><li>and Rural Affairs. </li></ul><ul><li>3 rd March 2009 </li></ul>
    3. 3. Key Drivers & Challenges <ul><li>EU Soil Framework Directive, Landfill/Wastes Directives/revised WFD – definition of wastes!!! </li></ul><ul><li>Landfill Tax escalator (£40/tonne 2009/10 – rising £8/tonne per year to 2013) </li></ul><ul><li>Site Waste Management Plans Regulations 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Government ‘ Strategy For Sustainable Construction ’ June 2008 – 50% Reduction in Construction Wastes to Landfill 2012. Zero waste to landfill 2020 </li></ul>
    4. 4. Overall material consumption by construction industry (>400 Mt per year) M tonnes Quantity of construction and demolition waste generated (~122 Mt per year UK) Waste construction materials that are recycled / reused (~60 Mt per year) Sector Overview
    5. 5. Current problem <ul><li>So let’s do what Mr Benn says… </li></ul><ul><li>Majority of material suitable for re-use (i.e. ‘ Resource ’) </li></ul><ul><li>However the ‘Ephemeral’ nature of construction projects and variable project programmes makes ‘creating a market’ rather tricky!! </li></ul><ul><li>Who needs it? When do they need it? How do you get it? What have you got? Where is it and where are you? </li></ul><ul><li>Current solution: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who you know </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What you know </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Last minute </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-strategic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Suitable for use? </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Here I Am?
    7. 7. Back in 5 minutes?
    8. 8. A Solution <ul><li>Need a… “ Dating Agency ” </li></ul><ul><li>- National, yet local focus </li></ul>
    9. 9. The solution - Earth Exchange ®
    10. 10. Features <ul><li>Secure Web-based system to match surplus materials with deficits at the site level via a Google Maps Premier API </li></ul><ul><li>Covers entire UK with no geopolitical borders and resulting boundary effects! </li></ul><ul><li>But… has local focus for the user. </li></ul>
    11. 11. Features <ul><li>Time based – to incorporate: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Changing construction programmes and needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Quality’ considerations </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Member’s Site <ul><li>Secure area for subscribers </li></ul><ul><li>Site and material info </li></ul><ul><li>User friendly navigable map </li></ul><ul><li>Search/match results (map and tabular) </li></ul><ul><li>Associate Member listings </li></ul>
    13. 13. Member’s Site – Unique features <ul><ul><li>Multi-site capability user/map configuration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Site details – type of construction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple-material capability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Availability/wanted dates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Haulage routes and distances </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contacts, communication, alerts, stats </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unlimited access and use (no pay per site etc)… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NEW - Details of local service providers highlighted by proximity (Labs, haulage, consultants, plant etc). </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Summary <ul><li>Huge potential to save waste disposal, haulage and procurement costs </li></ul><ul><li>Earth Exchange ® is a low cost, easy-to-use tool which can interface with SWMPs, BREEAM etc </li></ul><ul><li>Earth Exchange ® matches material requirements at locations and times to suit you </li></ul><ul><li>“ Exchange It – Don’t Waste It” </li></ul>
    15. 15. Summary <ul><li>Earth Exchange ® : Offers huge financial and environmental benefits: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nearby reusable soils, aggregates and materials mapped at source – virgin materials preserved, haulage reduced etc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Procurement time, effort and costs saved </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improved RC KPI’s achievable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Local users of surpluses mapped – disposal avoided, haulage reduced </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project flexibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Potential revenues realised for ‘unwanted’ materials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> Reduced Project Costs With Zero Effort!! </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. £4.125 Million Costs Saved 285,000 miles Heavy Haulage Saved 81,000 t Diverted from Landill 156,000 t Virgin Materials Saved
    17. 17. Questions? <ul><li>www. earth exchange .com </li></ul>