Main content area

Characterizing the environmental impact of metals in construction and demolition waste

Yu, Danfeng, Duan, Huabo, Song, Qingbin, Li, Xiaoyue, Zhang, Hao, Zhang, Hui, Liu, Yicheng, Shen, Weijun, Wang, Jinben
Environmental science and pollution research international 2018 v.25 no.14 pp. 13823-13832
arsenic, business enterprises, cadmium, chromium, copper, environmental impact, environmental quality, insulating materials, landfills, lead, nickel, plastics, pollution, recycling, risk, soil, wastes, zinc, China
Large quantities of construction and demolition (C&D) waste are generated in China every year, but their potential environmental impacts on the surrounding areas are rarely assessed. This study focuses on metals contained in C&D waste, characterizing the metal concentrations and their related environmental risks. C&D waste samples were collected in Shenzhen City, China, from building demolition sites, renovation areas undergoing refurbishment, landfill sites, and recycling companies (all located in Shenzhen city) that produce recycled aggregate, in order to identify pollution levels of the metals As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Ni, and Zn. The results showed that (1) the metal concentrations in most demolition and renovation waste samples were below the soil environmental quality standard for agricultural purposes (SQ-Agr.) in China; (2) Cd, Cu, and Zn led to relatively higher environmental risks than other metals, especially for Zn (DM5 tile sample, 360 mg/kg; R4 tile sample, 281 mg/kg); (3) non-inert C&D waste such as wall insulation and foamed plastic had high concentrations of As and Cd, so that these materials required special attention for sound waste management; and (4) C&D waste collected from landfill sites had higher concentrations of Cd and Cu than did waste collected from demolition and refurbishment sites.