WHAT TO DO WITH CONSTRUCTION WASTE? ONLY 5% RECYCLED

In recent years, there has been a lot of construction in Serbia, and this has brought a huge amount of construction waste, which is why millions of tons of concrete, bricks, metal, and earth end up mostly in illegal landfills, even though the law requires that all of this must be collected and disposed of according to a special procedure.

This topic will be dealt with “Look up” conference, which takes place on December 7 and 8 at the Gorski&spa hotel on Kopaonik.

The conference “Look Up” on the topic of ecology, energy and environmental protection, will gather in one place professional and business public from the country and the region, representatives of the Government of Serbia, international institutions, public and private sector.

Blic notes that shooting in Serbia has become a “trademark” of many areas, including national parks such as Kopaonik. To make the paradox even greater, the blame cannot be placed only on the builders, because in Serbia there is only one legal landfill where construction waste can be disposed of, and that is Vinča. This would practically mean that there should be no such waste at least in Belgrade. However, this is not the case, and due to the lack of inspectors, cases of punishment are more than rare.

In Europe, the situation is different because this waste is treated as an environmental problem and the regulations are very strict.

It is estimated that the construction industry is responsible for 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and 75 percent of the consumption of natural resources. – stone, sand, iron, wood. That is why the European directives from 2008 to 2024 mandate the greatest possible degree of recycling of this waste in order to reduce the consumption of natural resources, as well as the amount of landfilled waste. According to those documents, at least 70 percent of construction waste must be reused, and we are currently at less than 5 percent. With such a percentage, we are at the back of Europe, which is an alarm, both for experts and for ecologists.

According to the data of the Republic Institute of Statistics the construction industry participates in GDP with over 5.7 percent, and there are estimates that participation will increase in the coming years. As a result, the amount of waste will be increasing, and this can lead to endangerment of the environment.

The Government of Serbia states the situation in this area in the Waste Management Program for the period 2022-2031.

– In Serbia at the moment there is no practice of separate collection of construction and demolition waste, and no scheme for its recycling. Only small amounts of construction and demolition waste and asphalt are recycled, for example in 2018, less than 1,000 tons. Although there is a general legal obligation for the manufacturer to separately collect the generated waste and sort it according to future treatment, this provision is not in force because there are no by-laws. That is why waste of high economic value, such as metal, is mostly recycled, while other potentially recyclable materials are disposed of in landfills or more often end up in illegal locations – the Program states.

Since there are no separate collection obligations, such a situation increases the level of pollution, but also reduces the possibilities of recycling, according to Blic.

– According to RZS data, 729,000 tons of construction and demolition waste were generated in 2020. However, if a comparison is made with the amounts of construction and demolition waste in EU countries, the amounts are many times higher, that is, the potential is from 1.6 million to 3.6 million tons. These amounts were calculated based on assumptions taking into account total turnover in construction, total investments in building construction, GDP of the construction sector, construction activity of contractors on the territory of Serbia and the area of ​​demolished apartments – it is written in the Government program.

The bad situation with construction waste was also noticed by Brussels, which in its instructions warned Serbia that it would have to react urgently and create infrastructure conditions for adequate treatment of construction waste as soon as possible. If no dead letter is left on the paper, the situation could be better by 2029, when with the current 5% recycling, up to 40% of construction waste should be reused.

The final goal is to treat 70 percent of construction and demolition waste by the end of 2034. Uncontaminated soil and other natural material, excavated during construction, is not included in these 40 percent and 70 percent, respectively. In order to achieve this, locations with mobile waste treatment plants, a total of 26, should be established at the regional level by the private sector. At the same time, each local government must ensure the storage of this waste after treatment. At the same time, conditions must be created so that asbestos from demolition must be disposed of in special parts of regional sanitary landfills – the Program states.

Whether these and other activities, which should cost 15.5 million euros, will move Serbia from the bottom of Europe in terms of construction waste recycling is uncertain for now, but what is certain is that no mistakes must be made. step because otherwise, the backlog will be even bigger, writes Blic.

Data from the European Association for Demolition, Decontamination and Recycling show that the task is difficult Finland recycles 99.9 percent and Germany 90 percent of construction waste. In other words, they literally recycle all construction waste that has a wide range of materials – from steel, aluminum, copper, concrete to brick.

E2 portal (Flash)


Source: E2 Portal by www.e2.rs.

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