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BARRIERS TO CONSTRUCTION AND DEMOLITION WASTE REDUCTION, REUSE
Waste generally refers to any material that is set aside to be discarded after its primary use as it’s
considered to be defective and of no value. These wastes include ferrous and non-ferrous metal
scrap, mixed metal wastes, glass, plastic and wood waste. Construction and demolition waste
therefore is any unwanted substances that are produced either directly or incidentally by the
construction industries such as nails or that which originates from the site during preparation,
excavation, building, cleaning of the site, demolition or renovation of a building.
Reusing and recycling are ways that can manage the waste that is produced during all these
activities and they are aimed to reduce pollution of the environment, minimize use of large
portions of land to deposit the waste and reduce degradation of soil quality. Most of the C&D
waste is deposited onto and into the land, affecting both the soil and water life if left untreated.
Construction waste refers to waste generated by building activities such as scrap, damaged or
spoiled materials, temporary and expendable construction materials, and aids that are not
included in the finished project, packing materials and waste generated by the work force while
demolition debris is the waste generated from the process of intentional dismantling all or
portions of a building, and clearing of buildings and contents destroyed or damaged as a result of
natural or anthropogenic hazards.
Most developing countries have serious problems when it comes to dealing with wastes from the
construction industry. This is because of lack of consideration to the environment as compared to
the economic gains contrary to the regulations of human life protection. As a result there should
be a push for the implementation of C&D waste management.
Waste reduction basically aims at minimizing the amount of unwanted materials produced and
the hazardous nature of the waste, recycling lowers cost of production by converting the waste
materials into reusable one while reusing minimizes the need for getting new raw materials from
the earth and avoiding soil and water pollution that might have resulted from landfilling. By
source separation some of the waste, some of it produces materials that are ready to go to the
market therefore there is no need to pay the processor to sort the materials.
The above methods make sure that the waste that has been produced is no longer waste after it
has undergone the right treatments and there can be taken back to the market and it’s commonly
used for some specific purposes. After its treatment it’s assured that it is not hazardous. The
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act defines hazardous as waste that is designated to
present a serious risk to human health and the environment when mismanaged
To begin with, there is minimal or totally no education on waste management practices, the
contractors are not aware that the waste that is produced from the construction and demolition
industry can actually be recycled, reused or generally be reduced in terms of its production.
Results of the research done by the Technology Information Forecasting and Assessment
Council, 70% of the construction industry is not aware of recycling techniques. Some of the
contractors might be knowledgeable but they are just being ignorant about the whole issue.
By educating the building owners and the construction industry professionals of beneficial reuse
such as being able to save money, energy and natural resources, reduce landfill usage and
pollution we will be able to produce less waste and protect the environment at the same time.
They also need to have knowledge of identifying and separating waste so that those that can be
recycled are not totally put to waste. The professionals in the construction industry can also come
with ways that eliminate the waste to create an environmental friendly space. They can also
choose the materials that can easily be recycled to minimize on waste. The government and other
non-governmental organizations can step in to ensure that there is mass awareness on effective
disposal of the building wastes, and also provision of business friendly environments for
collecting, processing, and repurposing the wastes released by the construction industry. Creation
of business friendly environments can lead to setting up of industries aimed at recycling or
reusing the wastes produced by these construction and demolition industries in turn creating job
opportunities. EPA’s 2016 Recycling Economic Information report showed that in 2007, the
recycling of construction and demolition waste had created 230,000 jobs. This increases the
revenue acquired by country stabilizing its market, creates job opportunities, creating a healthy
environment for the public and reduces the volume of waste produced. Through having a good
plan on how to address how each waste material will be handled it makes it easier to assess the
cost and benefits of recycling, and to decide which materials need source separation which ones
need recycling and which ones to be disposed.
Lack of regulations and building codes and strict laws to ensure to ensure their implementation
has become a barrier to reduction, recycling and reusing of the waste produced during
construction and demolition. Proper organizations such as the Health department or the Planning
Department to ensure that there is proper waste management of the construction and demolition
waste in terms of its collection, transportation, immediate storage, utilization and disposal should
be put in place. This ensures that there is accountability in case the rules and regulations are not
followed. Private companies can also be established to assist in the collection of the C&D waste.
This ensures that no person will dispose this kind of waste in unwanted areas such as the public
or private space or in water bodies. The only parties that are responsible for the removal of waste
stored within the place of construction and demolition is the producer of the waste. The Canadian
Environmental Protection Act, 1...