Sustainability benefits and the value added of recycling excavated site materials.
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Construction sites are essentially urban mines that often simply discard the product. The purpose of the excavation is for a building or infrastructure and the timeline for the project is typically urgent so the value of this excavated product has tended to be seen as small, comparatively speaking, and so it has been sent to disposal sites. However, the increasing cost of transport and disposal of these discarded excavated materials is becoming harder to ignore. Moreover, the potential liabilities of inappropriately discarded materials have now become extremely high following a 2018 decision of HMRC to make these liable for landfill tax at the active rate plus a 100% premium, i.e. around £200 per tonne. On the flip side many sites need to import soil and/or aggregate for a variety of purposes such as land raising, for geotechnical reasons or for landscaping. The cost of virgin materials is steadily increasing.