Top contractors set up surplus materials matching app

The Supply Chain Sustainability School has launched a free app to connect construction sites that have waste or surplus materials to contractors who can make use of that material.

The app was developed through a collaboration of the School’s industry partners, including BAM, Berkeley Group, Canary Wharf Contractors, Kier, John Sisk, National Grid, Reconomy and Skanska.

Called the Materials Exchange Platform (MEP) Map, it provides construction contractors and their suppliers with a central database of local MEP projects aiming to find a home for unused construction materials.

The mapping tool gives access to a network of MEPs nationally, allowing the user to compare those in their local or regional areas.

The MEP mapping tool can filter by location, MEP type and material information, and shows local platforms within 30km of a specified county.

The School said that as well as saving disposal costs, and potentially generating income, the MEP Map helps local businesses and smaller contractors by offering them access to quality materials at a lower cost, or even free.

Matt Nichols, sales director of waste services management specialist Reconomy, and chair of the School’s Waste and Resource Efficiency group, said: "Awareness of the importance of a circular economy – based on the principles of designing out waste and ensuring that we efficiently use all the products and materials that we buy – is definitely gathering pace.

"The MEP Map performs the crucial task of connecting those with excess materials and products to those who can make good use of them, therefore reducing the volume of waste we send to landfill."

Mark Turner, market lead – FM at the Supply Chain Sustainability School commented: "While MEPs are not new, they are sadly very much underused. We hope that by providing this interactive map to our 37,000 online members, and indeed the whole industry, we can more easily access the platforms that exist across the UK, to ensure fewer unused or over-ordered materials end up in landfill."

Access to the MEP Map is free, through a free membership of the Supply Chain Sustainability School, which anyone can join at:

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  1. Excellent idea.
    Thinking of a more economic motivation for adoption of this app, it could be developed further to include materials trading between projects site, contractors, and clients. It could also include collection/delivery logistics which would ensure low carbon footprint in the process.

  2. That sounds a great idea, we all need to start somewhere.

  3. Thanks for the comment! We are also really keen to see more of these valuable unused materials go to deserving causes such as construction training schools and community ventures – rather than just ending up in the skip.

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