Wates Group has became the first construction company to commit to stop sending nonhazardous waste to landfill sites - and has promised to do so within five years.
In a hard hitting report Target: Zero, Wates, which has a large office at Hagley Road, Edgbaston in Birmingham, said UK construction creates three times more waste than all households combined.
It challenges the industry to tackle the issue by viewing waste as an opportunity rather than a cost. Landfill sites emit 20 per cent of the UK's methane, a gas 21 times the warming power of CO2.
They are also one of the most frequently recorded contaminants of groundwater.
The report showcases individual projects that are successfully reducing waste, such as Chamois Kitchen in Wolverhampton, which has eliminated the majority of packing on the kitchen units it produces.
Drawing on such examples and the experience of the waste management sector, the report says the first step to significantly reduce the UK's land-filled waste is for large cons truction companies to publicly commit to a meaningful target for the reduction of non-hazardous waste.
According to Wates, construction companies in the West Midlands create 8.1 million tonnes of waste a year. Almost three million tonnes of this is sent to landfill, 50 per cent more than the total amount of waste landfilled by households in the region.
If all of the West Midland's land-filled construction waste was put in standard skips laid end-to-end, they would stretch t he equivalent distance between Birmingham and London 12 times and back.
With forecasts suggesting the UK's existing landfill sites could be full in only six years, and significant problems involved in finding new sites in the West Midlands, Wates calls for new solutions from both the industry and government towards construction waste.
The report reveals that while consumers may soon be penalised for producing land-fill, the waste created by the construction industry is not properly monitored, and - unlike municipal waste - no targets have been set.
It also claims that the knowledge and tools required to eliminate non-hazardous construction landfill waste already exist.
However, while the report encourages the industry to drive its own waste reduction programme, it also identifies the lack of current data on industrial waste as an obstacle to be resolved.
The Government could deliver valuable support by streamlining the information that flows into DEFRA and bringing this up-to-date, enabling contractors, manufacturers, suppliers and clients to monitor progress and address problem areas.
Paul Drechsler, chief executive of Wates Group, said: "The industry has overlooked the serious problem of construction waste for too long, but we are in a position to significantly reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill in the West Midlands very quickly.
"Making a public commitment to do so would give local waste management suppliers more confidence to invest in recycling plants, expand the markets for recycled materials and drive this issue to the very top of our industry's agenda.
"It's something we can do today to reduce the environmental impact of West Midland construction."