EU Construction Waste Cutting – Making Impossible Attainable

The shift towards a circular economy happens to be a global challenge indeed. Because of the rising consumption as well as the extreme pressure on resources, society is put to a severe test as it faces a growing dearth of essential resources and a big burden on the environment.

When one looks at the environmental impact as far as the construction vertical is concerned, it is responsible for more than 37% of the total EU waste generation, a figure from Eurostat 2021, thereby making it one of the biggest waste verticals in Europe. Hence, construction is indeed one of the sectors in which transformation towards circular solutions can have a high impact on society as well as reduce the pressure on the planet.

Policy makers at the EU level have been continuously working to achieve the concept of a circular economy. The present EU Green Deal objective is to make varied industries transform so as to reduce waste generation, elevate recycling, and make circular products a regular attribute in the EU.

Among the numerous economic sectors that are anticipated to be a part of this circular journey, the construction sector happens to be one of the most promising. The European Union is taking care of the environmental footprint of the construction sector primarily via the Waste Framework Directive, which lays out the basic definitions as well as concepts for construction and demolition waste- CDW management and also directs member states with targets concerning CDW recovery.

The Eurostat data when it comes to the management of the mineral segment of the CDW in 2018 exhibits that recycling happens to be a predominant management form across most of the EU countries.

When we take a look at the regional variations, Southeast European countries like Slovakia, Bulgaria, Croatia, or Romania are falling behind the western economies when it comes to recycling practises as well as material recovery. Interestingly, as per the Eurostat data, in Bulgaria, 24% of mineral CDW happens to be subject to recycling, while remaining 76% is mostly landfilled.

In many regions, some kinds of waste at landfill sites could pose health and environmental risks to the people living in the vicinity. Such small numbers when it comes to construction waste recycling can be gauged from the building practises that took place in the past, making the traceability of the products as well as the materials in the buildings quite an uphill task.

The situation also goes on to highlight the significance of rolling out innovative solutions when it comes to CDW management by way of the development of economically viable and achievable models that will, in turn, help in the acceleration of circular construction across the SEE region. This is mainly the case for sectors like roads, which involve their reconstruction and rehabilitation activities, domestic construction, which also involves demolition of buildings, as well as industrial enterprises that involve both reconstruction and demolition, which happen to be the biggest generators of waste throughout the region.

So as to enhance the availability of recycled as well as reused construction products in Europe, the FIEC has decided to go ahead with its participation in the MOBICCON-PRO project, which is funded under the EU Horizon Europe programme. Its absolute objective happens to be the development, introduction, and demonstration of integrated, innovative circular solutions so as to recover the resources from the construction as well as demolition waste.

One of the largest construction corporate groups in Bulgaria, which is the project coordinator, looks forward to intensifying the CDW’s circularity so as to contribute towards a total transition to a circular economy in the southeast Europe region, which apparently is in accordance with the Green Deal objectives.

It is well to note that during the kick-off meeting of the project in Sofia in January this year, the ED of the said group emphasised the importance of the project to the region as well as its enthusiastic goals. Apparently, this project comprises 10 partners across Bulgaria, Belgium, Serbia, Denmark, and France and looks to achieve various objectives over a five-year period.

The group is, as a matter of fact, looking to integrate the physical solutions with state-of-the-art technology. The fact of the matter is that the long-term ambition paves the way for the results to be prevalent not just in Bulgaria but all across the region.