Construction and demolition waste (CDW) is one of the heaviest and most voluminous waste streams generated in the EU. It accounts for approximately 25% - 30% of all waste generated in the EU and consists of numerous materials, including concrete, bricks, gypsum, wood, glass, metals, plastic, solvents, asbestos and excavated soil, many of which can be recycled.
CDW arises from activities such as the construction of buildings and civil infrastructure, total or partial demolition of buildings and civil infrastructure, road planning and maintenance. Different definitions are applied throughout the EU, which makes cross-country comparisons cumbersome. In some countries even materials from land levelling are regarded as construction and demolition waste. CDW has been identified as a priority waste stream by the European Union. There is a high potential for recycling and re-use of CDW, since some of its components have a high resource value. In particular, there is a re-use market for aggregates derived from CDW waste in roads, drainage and other construction projects. Technology for the separation and recovery of construction and demolition waste is well established, readily accessible and in general inexpensive.
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