A new study conducted by Baden-Württemberg’s State Institute for the Environment, Measurements and Nature Conservation (LUBW) describes how the Ordinance on Substitute Construction Materials (EBV) planned by the German government will potentially affect the recycling of substitute mineral construction materials. It focuses on the recycling of construction materials, i.e. processing of construction and demolition waste. Substitute mineral construction materials replace primary resources to a large extent and spare the frequently scarce local landfilling capacities. These secondary resources are used primarily in road construction and surfacing as well as in earthwork. In 2012, 87 % of the around 10 mill. t construction and demolition waste in Baden-Württemberg was taken to recycling plants, 8 % sent to other uses, e.g. landfill construction, and only 5 % disposed of in landfills.
On the basis of the available analysis data, the authors of the study come to the conclusion that no significant effect by the planned EBV on the recycling situation for substitute construction materials in Baden-Württemberg can be expected. Overall the advantages outweigh, even though to a small extent. Slight differences between the material classes can be expected. The potential contamination of the substitute construction materials determines their reusability. In the event of the nationwide introduction of a uniform EBV, sulphate in the eluate and polycyclic hydrocarbons would be the crucial parameters most frequently determining the material classification. Besides the contaminant concentration, future requirements of the EBV also take into account the situation of the natural landscapes at the planned landfill site, for example, the type of soil, the level of groundwater compared to the planned landfill horizon or designated nature reserves. These requirements too would only lead to landfilling restrictions in isolated cases.
The study “Recycling Construction Materials in Baden-Württemberg – Current Situation and Possible Effects of the Planned Substitute Construction Materials Ordinance” can be downloaded as a PDF file from the following website of the LUBW: http://www.lubw.baden-wuerttemberg.de/servlet/is/35855/