Construction materials recycling

Summary: Europe has set itself an ambitious goal for recycling construction and demolition waste, aiming at 70 % by the year 2020. At present, only a level of 50 % has been managed, and no great improvements have been observed in recent years. Can the goals set still be reached? This article provides a number of answers.

1 Introduction

In Europe, at the last count, construction and demolition waste made up 34.7 % of all waste produced. This group of mate­rials includes concrete, stones, plaster board, wood, glass, metals, ­plastics, excavated soils, but also hazardous substances like asbestos and solvents. In the EU Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC), the goal of a 70 % recovery rate for these ­materials by the year 2020 was set. At present, the recovery rates range between 10 % to almost 95 % in the individual countries. The worldwide leading countries in waste recovery, however, are not found in Europe,...

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