Table of Contents

  • This document is the final report on the project “End-of-Waste Criteria for Construction & Demolition Waste” which was financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers and DHI. The project was initiated in 2010 and finalised in 2012.

  • The Waste Framework Directive (WFD) 2008/98/EC includes the option to set so-called End-of-Waste (EoW) criteria under which specified waste fractions shall cease to be waste. If these criteria are fulfilled, the material will no longer be classified as a waste but it will instead become a product subject to free trade and use (albeit for specific purposes). In accordance with Article 6 (1) of the WFD, a waste material (substance or object) may cease to be waste as defined in the WFD when it has undergone a recovery, including recycling, operation and is commonly used for specific purposes, has a market value, fulfils the technical requirements for the specific purpose and meets existing standards and legislation applicable to products. In addition, criteria shall be set to ensure that the use of the material will not lead to overall adverse environmental or human health impacts. These criteria shall include limit values for pollutants where necessary and shall take into account any possible adverse environmental effects of the material.

  • This chapter briefly describes some of the legislation which will be of relevance regarding the regulation of the use of C&D waste aggregates and C&D aggregates if/when they cease to be waste.

  • This chapter briefly presents the status of EoW and EoW legislation as well as the current policy on EoW in each of the Nordic countries.

  • In this context, the main concern in relation to the possible use of C&D waste aggregates with EoW status is the potential risk that the materials may contain substances that can cause unacceptable impacts on soil, surface water or groundwater and/or on human health. This concern is expressed in condition (d) in Article 6 (1) of the WFD: “The use of the substance or object will not lead to overall adverse environmental or human health impacts” and to the associated condition that “The criteria shall include limit values for pollutants where necessary and shall take into account any possible adverse environmental effects of the substance or object”.

  • Waste-derived aggregates, including C&D waste such as crushed concrete, are being considered as possible candidates for development of End-of-Waste criteria at EU level in accordance with Article 6(1) of the EU Waste Framework Directive as a means of increasing the recovery of resources. If and when a waste-derived aggregate achieves EoW status, it will become a (construction) product and hence regulated by the Construction Products Regulation (until 1 July 2013 also the Construction Products Directive) rather than waste legislation which means that in most EU Member States, including the Nordic countries, there will be no applicable environmental protection regulation. The use of recycled waste aggregates for construction purposes are subject to environmental legislation in several EU Member States, but construction products are generally not, except in The Netherlands where environmental protection regulations apply equally to both recycled waste aggregates and virgin aggregates used in construction.

  • C&D waste is identified as a high priority waste stream in the Danish government’s current waste management strategy (Danish EPA, 2010a) and in the Governments Action Plan for handling PCB in Buildings – Indoor climate, Working environment and Waste (May 2011).

  • The main objective of the environmental protection act of the Faroe Islands with respect to waste is to prevent pollution and promote recycling. The environmental permits for the receiving stations for waste in the Faroe Islands emphasise that iron, metal, tyres, trawls and nets, electronics, glass, paper and waste oil must be recycled, and that hazardous waste must be managed separately. At present, no concrete steps have been taken towards an EoW policy (í Horni, 2010). The Faroe Islands are not a member of the EU and are hence not bound by the EU Waste Framework Directive.

  • C&D waste can be divided into three types of waste, originating from: new construction, renovation and demolition. Waste from renovation sites resembles demolition waste, but contains more interior material. Construction waste contains soil material (arising in foundation works, roads) over-ordering, off-cuts and damaged material and, in some cases, is “cleaner” than demolition waste. Packaging waste makes also up a significant part of this waste stream. Demolition waste, on the other hand, is made up of several sub-waste streams and its composition is influenced by the selective demolition technique used.

  • The National goals for recycling in Norway is 75% of the total waste quantity in 2010. This includes however also metal recovery and incineration with recovery of energy.

  • Today, about 100 million tonnes of aggregate material are used annually in Sweden. The road construction industry is responsible for about half of this. Natural gravel and rock material of good quality is easily accessible in Sweden and there is a long tradition for road construction with unbound materials. However, as in other sectors, sustainable management of resources has commenced. This has resulted in the introduction of alternative aggregate materials, such as recycled aggregates or various industrial residues. Alternative techniques such as the use of bound layers and stabilisation are also making progress in order to achieve cost-effective and resource saving constructions. The background to this is a number of political objectives and control instruments together with administrative and technical measures. The overall idea is that it should be a matter of course to use alternatives when possible and thus decrease landfill and reduce extraction from gravel pits and rock quarries. In this way, the use of alternative materials prolongs the life of existing landfills and reduces the need for new pits and quarries. The Swedish environmental protection procedures are illustrated in Figure 9.

  • The liquid to solid ratio (L/S) describes the ratio between the amount of liquid (in a leaching test normally demineralised water) measured in litres and the amount of solid (e.g. aggregate measured as dry mass) measured in kg, which are brought into contact with each other in a leaching test. In a batch leaching test L/S is based on the total amount of water added to the solid, whereas L/S in a column or percolation leaching test is based on the amount of eluate collected at any time during the test. For leaching systems under equilibrium or near-equilibrium conditions, the expression of results of leaching tests as concentrations of a substance in the eluate or as accumulated leached amounts of a substance as a function of L/S is very convenient and allows the comparison of results from different test methods, in particular percolation tests and batch leaching tests. This is illustrated in Figure 10 which shows accumulated leached amounts of Mo from an aggregate (bottom ash from incineration of hazardous waste) as function of L/S from a percolation test (CEN/TS 14405) and a two-step batch leaching test (EN 12457-3). The figure also shows the total content of Mo in the aggregate. It can be seen that the batch test results represent two points on the leaching curve described by the percolation test results. Also note the substantial difference between the total content and the leachable amounts of Mo.

  • Leaching tests are basically carried out for the purpose of providing answers to questions, such as “What is the initial concentration of the eluate/ leachate from an aggregate being percolated by infiltrating rainwater?” or “What is the total leachable amount of various substances from an aggregate?” or “How does the leachability of various substances vary with pH?” or “Does this aggregate comply with the regulatory limit values for this or that purpose?”– and many others. Several questions are relevant for an assessment of the compliance of an aggregate with possible leaching requirements for the achievement of EoW status. Clearly, one single test cannot provide all the necessary answers, but a few, carefully selected leaching tests will be sufficient. The tests should be selected on the basis of the nature of the questions to be answered and the leaching mechanisms involved.

  • Description of the methodology used to set the leaching criteria for acceptance of waste at landfills for inert waste, landfills for non-hazardous waste accepting stable, non-reactive hazardous waste and landfills for hazardous waste listed in Council Decision 2003/33/EC.