NRW survey reveals construction industry’s contribution to Wales’ world-leading recycling credentials

A survey produced by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has solidified Wales as one of the world’s biggest recyclers after finding 90% of its construction and demolition waste is sent for re-use, recycling or recovery.

The Construction and Demolition Waste Survey, which was produced on behalf of Welsh Government estimated that 3.4M tonnes of waste was produced in Wales in 2019.

Data was collected from 508 businesses of varying sizes from a range of construction sectors throughout Wales between April 2021 and September 2021.

Accuracy of the latest study has been improved given higher levels of participation in key sectors and adopting lessons learnt from previous surveys.

The survey found most construction waste was produced by Civil Engineering Constructions (36%), with the General and Domestic building sectors tying for second place (16% each). The remaining 6 construction sectors, including highway construction and commercial buildings, accounted for less than 10%.

Of the waste generated, 90% was sent for re-use, recycling or recovery for use elsewhere. 

John Fry, Lead Specialist Advisor Waste Policy for NRW, said:

“Using Wales’ resources sustainably is at the heart of everything we do and we’re incredibly proud of the fact that Wales is such a high recycling nation.
“Surveys like this one are an important measuring tool and it’s encouraging to see the construction and demolition industry treating waste as a resource and sending less to landfill.
“Despite these great results there’s still work to be done. This includes reducing the amount of waste produced in the first place. The survey report has outlined further opportunities to improve and explore as part of Wales’ ongoing sustainable management goals and the long-term push towards a circular economy.”