The construction industry is the greatest consumer of mineral and other non-renewable resources in the EU. In 2018, the industry generated 35.7% of the total waste in the European Union (in the UK, this was a staggering 48.8%, Eurostat, 2020), most of which was produced during the construction and demolition stages. Despite the number of initiatives to tackle the issue of C&D waste, landfilling is still prevalent.
There are two broad reasons for the current unsatisfactory situation regarding CDW: low rates of recovery in some EU countries and the low value of reused or recycled materials/products. The end customers generally lack confidence in the quality parameters and reliability of recycled CDW due to improper sorting and contamination and low control over the material quality and homogeneity. Firstly, the volume of materials entering the CDW stream has to be minimized and, secondly, CDW has to be treated accordingly and controlled better to provide materials for reuse of high-value products, with traceability and quality assurance.
The principal mission of RECONMATIC is to embed life-cycle C&D waste management as an integral part of processes related to the planning/design, construction, operation, repurposing and deconstruction of built structures, providing new automation and digitalisation tools or solutions to facilitate improved communication and information sharing between the various actors, enabling them to proactively prevent and minimize waste generation or help to guide and improve decision-making in the reuse or recycling of materials.
To develop, test and promote digital tools for material and/or component tracing and C&D waste management in different types of construction or demolition sites (using existing databases for waste management)
To develop automated solutions for de-construction and waste separation processes
To implement cross-sectorial holistic solutions involving glass, concrete, steel, ceramics, non-ferrous materials, etc. from the perspective of construction products and materials as well as waste management, transportation and construction equipment and machinery aspects
To demonstrate solutions (reuse, recycling, transformation, etc.) in at least four implementation sites across different European countries in the areas of material recovery, transformation and utilisation
To assess and evaluate the value of the solutions in economic, business, environmental and societal terms (e.g., monetary value/reduction of CO₂ emissions produced)
To develop learning resources and contribute to relevant standards, policies & best practice
The RECONMATIC project will involve policy analysis and stakeholder engagement through qualitative research including workshops, webinars and interviews, in order to establish a protocol for assessing the sustainability and circularity of automated solutions for C&D waste management and guiding decision-making in a systematic way.
The project will also define, among future users and stakeholders, the features and criteria needed to complement the decision-making tool developed in the project with a circularity and sustainability approach. In this sense, RECONMATIC will identify the gaps and opportunities related to sustainability aspects and circular economy, as well as demands in terms of methodology, operation and expected results of a suitable guidance tool.
For this purpose, three interviews and two thematic workshops (in the participating countries and internationally) will be conducted with stakeholders of the value chain; designers/architects, construction companies, manufacturers and suppliers of materials and products, asset managers/ building owners, waste managers, recycling companies and decontamination companies as well as demolition companies will be invited to participate.
If you are interested in participating, please contact us.