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Site Waste Management Plan (SWMP)

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What is a Site Waste Management Plan?

A Site Waste Management Plan (SWMP) is a document that provides information on how construction waste is managed during a construction project. SWMP intends to mitigate the impact of waste on the environment while helping contractors save money by managing construction waste more efficiently through reuse, recycling and recovery.

In England, all construction projects that costs over £300,000 are legally required to come up with a SWMP before construction work begins. The SWMP is constantly updated during the construction project and is accessible to all stakeholders involved in SWMP. Following SWMP (even if not required in other countries) can help businesses better plan on making the most out of construction waste and reducing waste production.
This article will briefly discuss some tips on coming up with SWMP and offer technology to better implement SWMP in your organization.

5 Tips on Creating and Implementing SWMP

Although SWMP is unique for each construction site, you can try these helpful tips on creating and implementing a legally-compliant SWMP:

  1. Plan
    Make the creation of the SWMP part of the construction project planning stage. Being mindful of possible sources of construction waste and how they can be managed during the duration of the construction project at this early stage can help minimize waste and lessen cost along the way.
  2. Oversee the SWMP
    Implementing the SWMP will involve the collaboration of the client, principal contractor, and subcontractors but it is typically the principal contractor who will be responsible for updating it once construction work begins.
  3. Manage construction waste
    The materials used at the construction site can help determine what type and quantity of construction waste can be reused, recycled, or needs disposal. Make sure to document every time the waste is being moved or processed and update the SWMP.
  4. Communicate and train
    Inform the subcontractors and all staff at the site about the SWMP and where it can be accessed. Discuss the SWMP during employee training, induction, and toolbox talks to make sure everyone complies. Conduct random audits and spot checks to make sure that staff are aligned with the SWMP.
  5. Continuous improvement

    Review your documentation on how waste is handled so you can find ways to improve waste management moving forward. The SWMP will provide a history of waste management for the construction work and it can be used as a reference to learn best practices and further improve waste management for future projects.

Technology for SWMP Implementation

Regular and accurate documentation is not only crucial for a successful SWMP but also required to stay legally compliant. Implementing SWMP, however, can be a challenge if the organization is heavily reliant on paper-based documentation. Filing, organizing, keeping paperwork secure, and reviewing documentation while constantly updating SWMP can be time consuming and burdensome for those already attending to the day-today activities at the construction site.

iAuditor, the world’s most powerful mobile auditing app, can help better implement SWMP and help save time and money. Paper-based documentation and reporting is replaced by one mobile app. Digital reports are automatically organized and saved in the cloud. Data is accessible anytime via online platform.

To save you time, we have prepared these digital Site Waste Management Plan templates that you can browse and download for free!


Erick Brent Francisco

SafetyCulture staff writer

As a staff writer for SafetyCulture, Erick is interested in learning and sharing how technology can improve work processes and workplace safety. Prior to SafetyCulture, Erick worked in logistics, banking and financial services, and retail.