EXCAVATION CONSTRUCTION & DEMOLITION WASTE (ECDW) MANAGEMENT
We recycle solid waste instead of throwing it away, because it is a source of raw materials and it is beneficial to the environment.
The used materials that are now useless to their holder, have not lost all their value. Only a small percentage of it cannot be reused and must be disposed off at sanitary landfills.
Recycling is the conversion process from waste to materials that can be utilized for their initial or other purposes, except for energy recovery. Recycling is a part of rational waste management.
Rational waste management saves energy and preserves natural resources.
Recycling and alternative waste management
Benefits from recycling
- Economic: Material that have a market value can be recovered from the wastes. The production of recycled raw materials demands less total cost than that demanded for the mining raw materials. The Alternative Management contributes to the Circular Economy. Circular Economy is the model that corresponds to the sustainable development. It permits the use of materials for a long period, opening a new life cycle, saving the natural resources.
- Environmental: The uncontrolled disposal is a source of risks, such as fires and floods. It aesthetically deteriorates and pollutes the natural environment. The impacts on the soil and the aquifers are significant. Even the monitored landfill disposal contributes to CO2 emission and thus to climate change. The secondary material production is less energy demanding. The ECDW produced in E.U. represents the 25% – 30% of the total waste production. The ECDW recycling in Greece is around less than 40%, while the European and the national target is 70% by 2020.
- Social: New jobs are created in the sector of alternative management of ECDW. The location of landfills causes pressures in local societies; therefore, the consequences of diversion from landfill are significantly positive. It strengthens the environmental consciousness and helps in building new cultural values.
RECYCLING IS IN OUR INTEREST
the costs of restoring streams and torrents that have been transformed into ECDW disposal sites and the damages that the floods cause to surrounding areas and settlements, are much higher than the proper waste management cost.
the cost that raise from the pollution of aquifers, caused by hazardous admixtures in ECDW, can often be beyond calculation.
the damage after a possible fire, caused by ECDW because of the wood, plastic, glass and other admixtures, is usually very serious and non-reversible.
the “cost” of each material is not determined only by its market value. It has, additionally, an environmental, energy and human cost that have / will be paid in some way.
substitution of some raw material by recycled aggregates can reserve natural resources.
the ECDW management cost will be reduced if all the wastes are driven to the recycling facilities, as this will lead to relevant investment grow and operation cost reduction
Reuse, recycling, retrieval of materials and energy is a requirement for sustainable development. According to data of the European Committee every year in EU, almost 15 tons of material per person are used, while every citizen creates, on average, over 4,5 tons of waste per year, over half of which ends up in sanitary landfills. Linear economy, that is based on extracting resources, is not a sustainable choice.
With alternative management we contribute to circular economy.
Circular economy is the productive and consuming model that can measure up to sustainable development standards. It allows for much longer use of materials with the simultaneous minimization of natural resource use. It gives a chance for a new circle of life for the materials.
The hierarchy of waste management can be applied to Excavation, Construction and Demolition Waste.
Excavation construction and demolition waste management
In EU, the produced ECDW constitute about 25% - 30% of the produced waste. In Greece, less than 40% is recycled.
ECDW consist of various materials like concrete, reinforced concrete, asphalt, bricks, ceramics, rocks, soil, wood, glass, metals, plastics, plaster. Often, they contain small amounts of dangerous waste, like solvents and asbestos. For that reason, it is important that onsite segregation is performed.
Onsite Segregation is the separation of waste, depending on their classification on the European Waste Catalog, at the site of production, to be guided to the appropriate management system.
Sites of production are, for example:
a) Site where demolition is performed, and no new construction will occur
b) Site where demolition is performed, and a new construction will occur
c) Sites that are being refurbished
d) Sites where there is no prior construction but a new one is scheduled
e) Sites of construction and reconstruction - maintenance of roads
f) Sites of construction and repair of works and infrastructure networks
«Alternative management»:refers collectively to producer responsibility for the collection, transportation, treatment and temporary disposal process of dealing with utilization of ECDW, so that it returns to the market or other uses.
«Waste prevention»: relates to reducing the amount of ECDW generated, reducing the amount of hazardous waste and reducing the impact of that waste on the environment. When people create less waste, they consume fewer resources. It costs less than to recycle or dispose waste. Waste prevention can save money spent on waste disposal.
«Reuse of waste»: means any operation by which products or components of demolition, construction, natural or other disasters, that are not waste are used again for the same purpose for which they were conceived.
«Recycling»: is the conversion process from waste to materials that can be utilized for their initial or other uses, except for energy recovery.
«Processing»: is the screening and crushing, and any other action for the utilization of ECDW.
«Alternative management system»: is the organization based on any legal from for the collection, transportation, treatment and disposal process of dealing with utilization of ECDW.
Utilization is every process of using material derived from ECDW, including backfilling, restoration of quarries and landfills, and landscape restoration.