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Construction and demolition waste best management practice in Europe

Gálvez-Martos, José-Luis, Styles, David, Schoenberger, Harald, Zeschmar-Lahl, Barbara
Resources, conservation, and recycling 2018 v.136 pp. 166-178
best management practices, circular economy, construction materials, environmental impact, environmental performance, issues and policy, recycling, supply chain, wastes, Europe
Construction and demolition waste constitutes a large fraction of all the waste generated in Europe. Its specific impact can be considered rather low, but the large generated volume and embodied resource makes this waste stream an important focus of current European policies. The European Commission has proposed new targets and goals for this waste stream in the Circular Economy package, but, given the rather heterogeneous landscape of waste management practice across Member States, new approaches that take into account the entire value chain of the construction sector are urgently required. This paper synthesises core principles and linked best practices for the management of construction and demolition waste across the entire construction value chain. Systematic implementation of these best practices could dramatically improve resource efficiency and reduce environmental impact by: reducing waste generation, minimising transport impacts, maximising re-use and recycling by improving the quality of secondary materials and optimising the environmental performance of treatment methods.