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Sustainable management of surplus soils and aggregates (RP1124)

Brownfield projects and other types of construction projects generate large amounts of waste soil.   Managing soil arisings and waste has always been an important and sometimes difficult issue with the complexities of deciding “when is waste not waste” and when it is.  How to classify and safely handle, store and dispose of that waste to comply with relevant legal obligations.

The CL:AIRE Definition of Waste: Development Industry Code of Practice (DoW CoP) has provided help in deciding when soil arisings may not be waste in the construction industry. Similarly, the WRAP Quality protocols have aided in determining when recycling soil arisings and demolition material will ceases to be ‘waste’.  In practice the application of these End of Waste Protocols are often difficult to apply, the former frequently due to a lack of understanding as to what ‘suitability for use ‘means  because it requires a diverse range of skills; and the latter because the industry has been slow to recognise the requirements for crushed concrete to reach its end of waste status. 

Many brownfield projects even after the application of the waste hierarchy, are left with surplus soil requiring disposal, and the intricacies of classifying waste, frequently heterogeneous in nature, are often baffling to the non-expert. 

Project objectives

Develop an interactive document which will:

  • look at the site activity in question e.g. crushing concrete, importing recycled aggregate, using recycled topsoil, bulk excavation, reuse of excavated soil on site, etc.  this will enable the busy site operative to quickly get to the information they need for the actual process they are undertaking. 
  • contain useful information on different aspects of waste management (e.g. classification of waste, how to deal with difficult waste such as asbestos, etc.)
  • summaries of the relevant waste soil related legislation and explain how they should be applied. 
  • highlight areas of common mistakes/confusion.
  • case studies.
  • links to useful information, recent relevant guidance and projects e.g. work CIRIA has done in asbestos in soil.

Project status

This project has started. 
Research contract has been appointed to Stantec.

Further information
To find out more please contact Joanne Kwan at CIRIA.

Project proposal
(Adobe PDF File)