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Church Village Bypass Sustainability Success

27 January 2010

Waste reduction and sustainability remain a top priority when constructing the £90million Church Village Bypass. 

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council's contractors Costain acknowledge its corporate responsibility to promote waste reduction and to ensure that every opportunity is taken to utilise locally sourced and recycled material.  

With the support of the Council, stringent waste and sustainability targets have been set and as the completion date of Autumn 2010 grows nearer, all of these targets are expected to be achieved or surpassed. 

The construction industry is responsible for an estimated 120 million tonnes of waste every year, approximately one third of all UK waste.   

A key aim of the project is to incorporate as much site-generated waste as possible into the works to eliminate disposal to landfill. To date over 99% of waste arising from site activities has been re-used in the construction works.  

As part of the value engineering exercise undertaken, the alignment of the new carriageway was engineered to both reduce the volume of earthworks required and also balance the earthworks. 

This has meant that no material has had to be imported to complete the earthworks nor has any waste material been sent to landfill. 

The culvert and bridge structures have been designed to reduce the volume of materials required in construction and these have then been manufactured off-site in factory environments, further reducing the waste normally associated with in-situ construction. 

Secondary aggregates have been used to form the carriageway and to reduce the impact of using virgin aggregates. 

Blast furnace slag has been locally sourced for use in both the carriageway sub-grade and the tarmacadam surfacing. It estimated that by the time the project is completed, over 250,000 tonnes of this material will have been used. 

During the construction of the earthworks, the site has excavated almost 20,000 tonnes of peat and some is being re-used with other site-won earth to manufacture topsoil replacement. 

This means the site will avoid the need to import topsoil to complete the landscaping works and ensures that potential waste material is re-used effectively on site. 

The project team has set a range of waste targets that are continually monitored to ensure that materials are not wasted. Material use is reconciled on a central database with progress against targets issued regularly to the project team. 

Following close liaison with the Environment Agency, appropriate licences were obtained enabling the project to utilise approximately 300,000 excavated tyres, 60,000 tonnes of pulverised fuel ash  and 50,000 tonnes of construction waste into the construction works.  

The tyres, which can no longer be sent to landfill, were cleaned, guillotined and compressed into bales which were used in the landscape design. 

Dan Powrie, Costain Construction Manager said: "We have worked very closely with our client Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council and the Environment Agency to ensure that every opportunity has been taken to minimize the environmental impact of our work".  

Cllr Andrew Morgan, Cabinet Member for Transport and Customer Care explained: "Waste reduction and sustainability is a priority for Rhondda Cynon Taf in all of the services we provide and clearly this message is just as important when undertaking the Church Village Bypass. 

"With careful planning, our contractors have successfully ensured that 99% of waste arising from site activities has been re-used in the construction work. The movement of 100,000 cubic metres of soil at Power Station Hill and the baling of 300,000 tyres found nearby is a perfect example of this. 

"The sustainability record so far has been exemplary and as the completion of the Church Village Bypass grows ever nearer, we will ensure such high standards are maintained for the benefit of the local and for that matter, global, environment."