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Waste is just stuff in the wrong place

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BBM and the University of Brighton put the spotlight on waste at Ecobuild

Make waste matterThe Waste Totem’s 20 slogans were chosen via a Twitter competition

The University of Brighton’s Waste Zone was one of the liveliest corners of Ecobuild with a mix of seminars full of creative ideas to inspire positive action. Curated by BBM Sustainable Design, the workshops included talks and Q&As with experts, researchers and students, including BBM’s own Duncan Baker Brown, Stewart Dodd of Satellite Architects and BioRegional’s Jonathan Essex.

waste zone

Duncan Baker-Brown speaking at the Waste Zone

Seminar attendees sat on upcycled ‘stenches’ (stool/benches) made by undergraduates from the University of Brighton’s Interior Architecture course, supported by BBM, FreegleBrighton and Brighton designer Gem Barton.

Freegle 'stench': stool/bench

Freegle ‘stench’: stool/bench


Prominently located in ExCel’s central aisle, a Waste Totem, also by BBM Sustainable Design, greeted all visitors to Ecobuild. The idea was to encourage people to think about waste as a resource, a welcome initiative in this massive trade fair. The 9m-high structure was made from recycled ply and timber from building sites, together with other waste lightweight sheet material collected from previous ExCeL exhibitions. Decorated with second-hand paint supplied by Newlife Paints, the Waste Totem’s twenty slogans were chosen in a twitter competition.

Waste Totem, BBM Sustainable Design

Waste Totem, BBM Sustainable Design

In a similar vein, the UK-GBC ran an award for the ‘most sustainable stand’ with two categories: over and under 100m2. Aco Technolgies took the top prize in the larger category, with Travis Perkins highly commended.

According to WRAP, up to 20 per cent of building products which arrive on construction sites end up in landfill. This equates to the equivalent of one house in material thrown away for every five houses built. BBM’s Duncan Baker-Brown observed that as the cost of raw materials increases daily, so does the cost of disposing of waste. Companies that make or build things are feeling the pinch at both ends of a productsʼ lifecycle. Itʼs time to reduce our reliance upon mining new materials and consider what to do with all this waste.


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