Why is there so much waste after flooding, and how could it be reduced?

That’s a question we set out to answer with new research.

Skips full of household belongings, soggy plasterboards and timbers outside flooded homes… it was one of the abiding images after Storm Desmond in Cumbria in 2015.

Flooding caused a huge amount of waste, along with other environmental costs – such as the process of drying out homes and the building works that followed.

CAfS wanted to understand more about these environmental costs, why they happened and how they could be reduced.

We commissioned research during summer 2017, carried out for us by URBED (Urbanism Environment and Design) Ltd. URBED looked at what happens after a flood event. They explored the different factors that drive decisions during the initial response, including the way flooded properties are stripped out, how they’re dried out and how they’re refurbished.

Their findings have been published in a comprehensive report.

This research was part of the Rebuilding Together project, to increase the resilience and sustainability of communities and third-sector organisations across Cumbria.

Front cover the report: Environmental Cost of Flooding - by CAfS
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