Attitudes and perceptions of construction workforce on construction waste in Sri Lanka

Udayangani Kulatunga, Dilanthi Amaratunga, Richard Haigh, Raufdeen Rameezdeen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

74 Citations (Scopus)


– The construction industry consumes large amounts of natural resources, which are not properly utilised owing to the generation of waste. Construction waste has challenged the performance of the industry and its sustainable goals. The majority of the causes underlying material waste are directly or indirectly affected by the behaviour of the construction workforce. Waste occurs on site for a number of reasons, most of which can be prevented, particularly by changing the attitudes of the construction workforce. Therefore, the attitudes and perceptions of the construction workforce can influence the generation and implementation of waste management strategies. The research reported in this paper is based on a study aimed at evaluating the attitudes and perceptions of the construction workforce involved during the pre‐ and post‐contract stages towards minimising waste.

– A structured questionnaire survey was carried out to understand and evaluate the attitudes and perceptions of the workforce. Four types of questionnaires were prepared for project managers/site managers, supervisors, labourers, and estimators.

– The findings indicate the positive perceptions and attitudes of the construction workforce towards minimising waste and conserving natural resources. However, a lack of effort in practising these positive attitudes and perceptions towards waste minimisation is identified. The paper further concludes that negative attitudes towards subordinates, attitudinal differences between different working groups, and a lack of training to reinforce the importance of waste minimisation practices have obstructed proper waste management practices in the industry.

– The paper reveals the effect of the attitudes and perceptions of the construction workforce towards waste management applications, which would be of benefit to construction managers in designing and implementing better waste management practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-72
Number of pages16
JournalManagement of Environmental Quality
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


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