Construction and demolition waste (CDW) represent around 25% - 30% of all waste generated in the EU. Although EU and national policy makers have already put in place a strong policy framework, there is still room for improvement. This is particularly important if we consider the high potential of a re-use market where processed CDW can be used as inputs (secondary resources or materials).
However, practices in collecting, sorting and processing CDW are not homogeneous in the EU; public do not perceive CDW recycled materials as good quality products and professionals lack confidence in their performance. As a result, demand is limited and the development of a secondary market slows down.
To tackle this misperception on the quality of processed CDW and boost confidence among sector members, the European Commission called for a common protocol on EU Construction and Demolition Waste management. Ecorys, awarded with this contract in 2015, has devoted more than a year to study how to increase confidence in the CDW management process and the trust in the quality of CDW recycled materials. This can be achieved by:
Improved waste identification, source separation and collection;
Improved waste logistics;
Improved waste processing;
Appropriate policy and framework conditions.
The Protocol is being developed in close collaboration with various stakeholders representing construction, renovation and demolition industry, as well as national policy makers and European associations. It will be published this autumn and will include a common set of technical, environmental and managerial principles applicable in the entire EU, based on the highest common standards in each stage of the CDW management chain and that would be recognised in all Member States.
The Protocol developed by Ecorys fits within the ambitious Circular Economy Package adopted by the European Commission in 2015. The sound recycling and treatment of CDW will contribute to "closing the loop" of product lifecycles through greater recycling and re-use, and bring benefits for both the environment and the economy. Hence stimulating Europe's transition towards a circular economy that boosts global competitiveness, fosters sustainable economic growth and generates new jobs.
Find out more about CDW here.