The Concrete Initiative - recycling

EU develops protocol to manage construction & demolition waste

On 10 November 2016, the European Commission (DG GROW) issued a protocol which provides guidance on managing construction and demolition waste (C&DW).  Developed by Ecofys, the protocol aims to increase industry's confidence in the waste management process and the quality of recycled C&DW materials.

Aviva stadium

Country: Ireland
Type: Sports stadium

The Aviva Stadium is built on the site of the former Lansdowne Road stadium, which was demolished in 2007.  The stadium, located adjacent to Lansdowne Road railway station, officially opened on 14 May 2010.

Circular economy: developing the knowledge base

On 18 January 2016, the European Environment Agency (EEA) published a report entitled “Circular economy in Europe - Developing the knowledge base”.   According to the authors, fundamental changes throughout the value chain (from product design and production processes to new business models and consumption patterns) are required in order to create a circular economy. In this respect, recycling will turn waste into a resource and extending product lifetimes will help preserve natural resources.

Concrete & the 2012 London Olympics

Country: UK
Type: Sports facilites

Concrete was the material of choice for much of the infrastructure built for the 2012 London Olympics. For example, for the Olympic Stadium Precast beams supporting the lower tiers were cast on the stadium site, there is 9,250 m3 of precast concrete within the stadium bowl. This 'on-site prefabrication' method produced some very high quality finishes. The Olympic Stadium used pre-cast elements and recycled aggregates as cement replacement to achieve a sustainable and robust home for the Olympic Games.

Highlights from 5 March Circular Economy event

Unable to join the Circular Economy conference on 5 March?  No worries - Here you will find a series of highlights of the key points raised!

Policy do's and don'ts for construction and demolition waste

The European Commission has embarked on several initiatives to analyse and improve construction and demolition waste (C&DW) recycling rates across Europe. According to the Commission, construction and demolition waste accounts for a third of the EU’s total waste production per year, amounting to some 450-500 million tonnes.

Recycling construction & demolition waste

Bridging the gap between technical feasibility & policy needs (upon invitation only)
On 2 July 2014, the European Commission adopted its Circular Economy package.  This package includes a Communication on Resource Efficiency Opportunities in the Building Sector.  One of the key areas within this communication is the recycling of construction and demolition waste (C&DW). 

The Concrete Initiative @ the European Circular Economy Conference

On 5 March 2015, The Concrete Initiative had the opportunity of participating in a panel debate on the hot topic of the Circular Economy.  As readers are aware, a Circular Economy package was launched in the summer of 2014.  However, with a new Commission comes a new perspective, resulting in the scrapping of the existing package infavour of a new, much broader initiative due by the end of this year.  

The Forum

Country: UK
Type: Educational/Leisure

The Forum is a £27 million project that comprises municipal and academic libraries, a research and teaching facility, arts venue and café.

The role of cement and concrete in the circular economy

Cement and concrete play a central role in the circular economy. But in order to fully unleash the potential of these two sectors, which are essential to society, we need to define, develop and implement the right policy framework. Perhaps I should start by highlighting why we are essential, as this point often seems to be overlooked when discussing policies, regulation and legislation. Cement and concrete ensure that we have homes and offices, schools and hospitals, as well as transport infrastructure. Not only that, we are a European industry – our entire life cycle is based in Europe and we hope to stay that way!

Thematic lunch on recycling concrete C&D waste a - resounding success!

On 27 October, stakeholders gathered in Brussels for the first in a series of thematic lunches organised by The Concrete Initiative.  The debate centred around recycling concrete construction and demolition waste, focusing on ways of bridging the gap between what is technical feasible and the policies which are required.  This event comes at a very relevant time, given the recently launched Communication on resource efficiency opportunities in the building sector.  Participants included representatives from both the environment and enterprise Directorates General of the European Commission, as well as the Permanent Representation of the Netherlands, the European Demolition Association and experts in the field of concrete recycling from industry and academia.  Various avenues were explored, providing plenty of food for thought as the EU moves forward with its proposals put forward in the Communication.

To what extent should authorities promote the use of recycled aggregates for concrete?

Over the last ten years, politicians and stakeholders alike have focused on better production and use of energy. Nevertheless, energy is not the only resource which can have environmental, economic and geopolitical impacts. All raw materials can play a role, albeit to a different extent. For example, whilst rare earths are scarce in Europe, many other raw materials, such as limestone and aggregates are abundantly available.  In my view, it is therefore wrong to consider that a strategy which is valid for one material can apply to all others. In addition, to consider recycling as the objective for “resource efficiency” would also lead to erroneous decisions. This is why policies should promote the efficient use of locally available materials for a desired purpose.
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