Site Waste Management Plan


April 2010 saw the 2nd Anniversary of the implementation of the Site Waste Management Plan (SWMP) in England.


A basic SWMP is now required for all construction projects with a construction value of £300,000 or higher. There is a requirement to update the SWMP plans and at closure to confirm that the plan was regularly reviewed as well as explain any significant deviation. If greater than £500,000 a more detailed plan is required with follow up required as for the £300k plan but in addition an estimate of the cost savings achieved through implementation is also required.


If you are the project manager of such a project, this legislation affects you. If your site does not have an SWMP you need to know why as your client risks a fine, or worse prosecution!


The SWMP is required before a contractor starts on site and it is client responsibility to ensure this document is in place. It is best practice to complete your SWMP as early as possible in the project planning stage as this identifies early cost savings, especially in the reuse of soils, addresses sustainability and directs the appropriate recycling of waste materials.



Penalties and enforcement

The Environment Agency and local authorities are responsible for enforcement of the Regulations.It is an offence to fail to comply with any of the main provisions of the Regulations.



What needs to be done?


A SWMP must initially be prepared at the contract initiation stage by the client or clientsrepresentative and be available at the commencement of site works. However the responsibilities of an SWMP do not stop there. The plan then needs to be maintained and modified as the project evolves and closed out at the end of a project, just like a Health and Safety plan. It is client and contractor responsibility to do this. Most clients will require their consultant to represent them and ensure that their legal requirements are being followed.


For projects between £300,000 and £500,000 in cost the following information must be added within three months of the work being completed:


  • Confirmation that the SWMP has been monitored on a regular basis to ensure that work is progressing according to the plan and that the plan was updated appropriately; and

  • An explanation of any differences between the first draft of the SWMP and actual performance.

  • For projects over £500,000 in cost as well as the information above, the following information must be also be added:

  • An estimate of the cost savings that have been achieved by completing and implementing a SWMP.


In line with other waste management legislation, the contractor is required to keep the SWMP for two years after completion of the project at the principal place of business or the site of the project and the EA can request inspection of the SWMPs at any time during this period.


PWA Geo-Environmental has experience of drafting initial SWMP both on behalf Developers and Contractor for civil and remediation project. As noted early consideration of your SWMP can generate cost saving by identification and management of soil waste streams.

Welcome to PWA Geo-Environmental:


Leading Geotechnical, Geoenvironmental and Regeneration Specialists


What makes us different...


  • Addressing and understanding site abnormals

  • Significant savings on final build costs

  • Delivering time savings

  • Sustainable value engineering

  • Viability and realising full site potential

  • Strong technical background