Reducing waste to landfill: A need for cultural change in the UK construction industry

Saheed O. Ajayi, Lukumon O. Oyedele, Olugbenga O. Akinade, Muhammad Bilal, Hakeem A. Owolabi, Hafiz A. Alaka, Kabir O. Kadiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Owing to its contribution of largest portion of landfill wastes and consumption of about half of mineral resources excavated from nature, construction industry has been pressed to improve its sustainability. Despite an adoption of several waste management strategies, and introduction of various legislative measures, reducing waste generated by the industry remains challenging. In order to understand cultural factors contributing to waste intensiveness of the industry, as well as those preventing effectiveness of existing waste management strategies, this study examines cultural profile of construction industry. Drawing on four focus group discussions with industry experts, the study employs phenomenological approach to explore waste inducing cultural factors. Combining findings from phenomenological research with extant literatures, the study suggests that in order to reduce waste intensiveness of the construction industry, five waste inducing cultural factors need to be changed. These include (i) "make-do" understanding that usually result in "make-do waste" (ii) non-collaborative culture, which results in reworks and other forms of wasteful activities (iii) blame culture, which encourages shifting of waste preventive responsibilities between designers and contractors, (iv) culture of waste behaviour, which encourages belief in waste inevitability, and (v) conservatism, which hinders diffusion of innovation across the industry. Changing these sets of cultural and behavioural activities is not only important for engendering waste management practices; they are requisite for effectiveness of existing strategies. Improvement in the identified areas is also required for overall improvement and general resource efficiency of the construction industry. Thus, this paper advocates cultural shift as a means of reducing waste landfilled by the construction industry, thereby enhancing sustainability and profitability of the industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-193
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Building Engineering
Volume5
Early online date29 Dec 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Construction industry
Land fill
Waste management
Industry
Sustainable development
Mineral resources
Contractors
Profitability
Innovation

Bibliographical note

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Building Engineering. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Building Engineering, [5, (2016)] DOI: 10.1016/j.jobe.2015.12.007

© 2016, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Keywords

  • Collaboration
  • Construction innovation
  • Construction waste
  • Culture
  • Innovation diffusion
  • Landfill
  • Make-do waste
  • Procurement
  • Reworks
  • Waste behaviour

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Mechanics of Materials

Cite this

Ajayi, S. O., Oyedele, L. O., Akinade, O. O., Bilal, M., Owolabi, H. A., Alaka, H. A., & Kadiri, K. O. (2016). Reducing waste to landfill: A need for cultural change in the UK construction industry. Journal of Building Engineering, 5, 185-193. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jobe.2015.12.007

Reducing waste to landfill : A need for cultural change in the UK construction industry. / Ajayi, Saheed O.; Oyedele, Lukumon O.; Akinade, Olugbenga O.; Bilal, Muhammad; Owolabi, Hakeem A.; Alaka, Hafiz A.; Kadiri, Kabir O.

In: Journal of Building Engineering, Vol. 5, 01.03.2016, p. 185-193.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ajayi, SO, Oyedele, LO, Akinade, OO, Bilal, M, Owolabi, HA, Alaka, HA & Kadiri, KO 2016, 'Reducing waste to landfill: A need for cultural change in the UK construction industry' Journal of Building Engineering, vol. 5, pp. 185-193. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jobe.2015.12.007
Ajayi, Saheed O. ; Oyedele, Lukumon O. ; Akinade, Olugbenga O. ; Bilal, Muhammad ; Owolabi, Hakeem A. ; Alaka, Hafiz A. ; Kadiri, Kabir O. / Reducing waste to landfill : A need for cultural change in the UK construction industry. In: Journal of Building Engineering. 2016 ; Vol. 5. pp. 185-193.
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