Construction waste or rubble disposal pose major challenges for local government authorities. Availability of space in large urban centres is limited. Moreover, dumping of such wastes has the potential to harm the local environment. Further, reuse of construction waste also reduces demand for new construction material like sand, whose indiscriminate mining can harm the environment adversely. Energy and resources required to manufacture new products would also be saved. For a sustainable future, it is important to reuse construction waste or rubble. The good news is that technologies are being developed and improved to reuse construction waste effectively. One such pioneering initiative in India is the Burari Construction & Demolition Facility at Delhi operated by IL&FS Environmental Infrastructure & Services Ltd.
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) started the plant in 2009, and Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd. operates it. The plant was originally designed to handle 500 tons per day (TPD) of construction waste. Currently, the plant processes 1,200 TPD of waste. Plans are to increase the capacity further 2,000 TPD. The eventual goal is to process all the construction waste generated in Delhi.
The facility is supplied construction and demolition waste from all over Delhi. The waste is processed to make products like bricks and blocks, manufactured sand etc. The products are later sold in the market. Efforts are on to mandate usage of products made from construction waste in government funded building and infrastructure projects. More details about this facility are available at the following link.
In many foreign countries, particular where space is severely constrained, construction waste recycling is the norm. Recycling wastes are commonly used as aggregates in road construction, concreting, manufacturing of blocks, etc. For example, companies recycling construction waste in Singapore include:-
• ECO CDW Management Pte Ltd.: http://www.samwoh.com.sg/
• Samgreen Pte Ltd: http://www.samwoh.com.sg/
• SembWaste Pte Ltd: http://www.sembcorp.com/
• Hock Chuan Hong Waste Management Pte Ltd.: http://www.hchwaste.com.sg/index.htm
It is expected that construction waste recycling will become the norm in India within the foreseeable future. Some steps that can be taken to accelerate the change include:-
• Systematic collection and segregation of construction waste from across major urban centres.
• Encouraging the setting up of construction waste recycling units through policy initiatives.
• Developing and documenting construction waste processing technology.
• Developing standards for products made out of construction waste.
• Mandating its usage in large projects.
• Awarding points for usage of construction waste in Green Building rating system and other such systems etc.