Assessment of initiatives to prevent waste from building and construction sectors

Sustainable consumption and production, Environment

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The study has identified and evaluated waste prevention initiatives in the building and construction sector. The main part of the initiatives is based on information tools such as guidelines, handbooks, calculation tools and checklists. Seven case studies have been described to illustrate different categories within waste prevention. It seems that waste prevention measures only to a limited extent are integrated in the building and construction sector. But there are a lot of good ideas for future actions within the sector, therefore a chapter is dedicated to further present these ideas for waste prevention practices that were identified during the mapping of initiatives. The case studies demonstrated that presently voluntary measures play a leading role in waste prevention. Most of the measures are related to the elimination of hazardous substances from building and construction waste. Respondents in the study have emphasised the need for education and information amongst all actors, from the early planning stage, right through to the implementation and execution of the projects themselves.



Conclusion and discussion

Preventing waste is the action that has the highest priority under the EU’s recently revised framework directive on waste. An effective implementation of waste prevention initiatives could be based on the already existing valuable experience from successful waste prevention activities that have been tested in various countries, regions and municipalities. The general perception within the industry is that the environmental benefits of waste prevention, including direct re-use and minimisation at source, are often enormous. Also, it is believed that waste prevention activities have a large potential of paying off economically. Further on, manufacturers of building elements also see eco-labelling their products as a marketing advantage in the global market.


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