A diagnosis of construction and demolition waste generation and recovery practice in the European Union

2019-09-16T13:07:13Z (GMT) by Paola Villoria Sáez Mohamed Osmani
Construction and demolition activities in the European Union (EU) are responsible for generating 850 million tonnes of construction and demolition waste (CDW) per year. As a result, the Waste Framework Directive (WFD) set a recovery target to attain 70% CDW recycling by 2020. CDW management in individual EU Member States (MS) has been widely explored by previous researchers, however little attention has been paid to investigate the association of CDW arising with national economic, social and technological factors across different countries. Hence, this paper set out to examine and compare CDW generation across EU MS in correlation with their respective national construction turnover, gross domestic product and capita. It also assesses policy framework and CDW recovery performance of each MS against the WFD recovery target. Statistical data reported by Eurostat were collected and further analysed. A critical assessment of Eurostat CDW data reliability was carried out. A novel approach was adopted by ranking MS in respect to the amount of CDW generated per ‘construction turnover, GDP and capita’ (CDW-TGC). Results show that Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and France were found to be the highest CDW-TGC producers, whereas Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, Portugal and Spain were found to be the lowest. Further, most MS rely on ‘waste management plans’ rather than specific national CDW regulations. No correlation was found between landfill taxation and CDW landfilled or recovered. Eleven MS still need to improve their recovery performance to achieve the WFD target. Finally, four key CDW recovery challenges were identified: ineffective CDW regulations, incoherent data quality, undeveloped reverse logistics and a low market readiness for secondary materials