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.
Given that at least a third of this C&DW is concrete, The Concrete Initiative is working actively on this topic. This paper provides some “do’s & don’ts” for successful policy on C&DW. These guidelines are relevant for C&DW in general, not just for concrete. For all types of C&DW, recycling rates are low in many Member States due to a lack of efficient sorting and collecting of C&DW, combined with an insufficient demand for, and confidence in, recycled materials. These aspects are two sides of the same coin. Often, the infrastructure is not in place to allow for quality recycled materials to reach a potential client in a cost-efficient manner. Fortunately for concrete, recycling is not technically difficult. Concrete can be 100% recycled after demolition. Recycled aggregates from demolition concrete are traditionally used in unbound applications such as for road base, and they are also used as aggregates for new concrete.
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