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Construction waste

posted on 24.10.2011, 12:58 by Mohamed Osmani
The built environment consumes more natural resources than necessary and therefore generates a large amount of waste. A study by the World Resource Institute of material flows in a number of industrialised countries, showed that one half to three quarters of the annual material input to these societies was returned to the environment as waste within one year [1]. The international community started realising that resources are finite and that nature can no longer absorb the vast quantities of waste continually released to it. Achieving ‘zero waste’ will be a breakthrough strategy for a world in an environmental crisis, however, this is a highly challenging target in construction, but by involving and committing all stakeholders to reduce waste at source and developing efficient waste management strategies by reusing and recycling materials and components, can take the industry closer to the ‘zero waste’ vision, hence, moving from myth to reality. The aim of this chapter is to rethink construction waste management by re-engineering processes and practices to reduce construction waste at source. The chapter examines the concept of waste and definitions; discusses construction waste quantification and source evaluation; explores current thinking on construction waste research; and appraises the current construction waste management and minimisation status in the United Kingdom (UK) in terms of drivers and pressures for change, design and onsite practices, and challenges and enablers.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


OSMANI, M., 2011. Construction waste. IN: Letcher, T.M. and Vallero, D.A. (eds.). Waste: A Handbook for Management. Burlington, MA.: Academic Press, pp. 207-218.


© Elsevier Inc.


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This book chapter is Closed Access. It was published in the book Waste: A Handbook for Management [© Elsevier Inc.]. The publisher's website is at:





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