Construction and demolition (C&D) waste constitutes the largest share of waste generated on the Maltese Islands. Disposal of such waste can be carried out through various methods depending on the source and quantity of C&D waste.
Small quantities of construction waste originating from households due to refurbishment works can be delivered to the various Civic Amenity sites.
C&D waste generated in large quantities by households or businesses cannot be taken to Civic Amenity Sites but needs to be deposited in permitted, spent quarries. Delivery needs to be carried out by vehicles registered with ERA. Rehabilitated quarries help to restore the landscape, reduce unsightly views from the countryside and lead to more land being made available for agricultural and recreational purposes.
Minimisation of C&D waste can take place by changing wasteful practices and promoting reusing mechanisms, where technically possible.
The Don’t Waste Waste campaign asked Architect, Civil Engineer, Materials Engineering and Quality Management Consultant and Senior Lecturer Perit Ruben Paul Borg for his take on what the industry can do about C&D waste:
- During the course of your work how do you implement the principles of reduction, reuse and recycling of waste generated?
The main portion of C&D waste consists of excavated material. Excavated coralline limestone of sufficient quality can be recycled as aggregate for concrete, asphalt mixtures and civil engineering works. Where prior investigation indicates that the globigerina limestone is consistent and of sufficient quality, alternative excavation techniques can be considered for the extraction of large blocks for further processing off-site. These practices can significantly reduce the volume of C&D waste generated and support resource conservation. However, consideration to the size of the project, impact on the project construction management plan and other constraints has to be factored in.
Where possible, separation of C&D waste and the planned deconstruction of buildings can promote and facilitate recycling. Furthermore, design-for-deconstruction promotes the reuse of building elements and recycling oriented deconstruction at the end of life of structures.
- In your opinion how can operators in this industry be incentivized to practice the 3Rs more?
Through the Building Industry Consultative Council (BICC) Committee for C&D Waste, priority areas are being identified to encourage C&D waste reduction, reuse and recycling. This is achieved through policy, training and development of guidelines. New national standards are being prepared through a technical committee led by the Malta Consumer and Competition Affairs Authority (MCCAA), addressing recycling oriented deconstruction and demolition and recycled aggregate.
- How do you see the sustainable management of construction and demolition waste developing in the coming years?
The disposal of waste generated from Malta’s expanding construction industry presents a significant challenge in view of the limited space available for disposal. Incentives to support and promote the reduction and recycling of waste generated help to reduce waste disposal. Transforming waste into a resource leads to lower demand on natural limestone resources. This needs to be supported through technological solutions in recycling, ongoing research such as the recycling of waste limestone in concrete at the University of Malta and adequate guidelines and standards currently being developed for Malta.
For information on Civic Amenity Sites call Wasteserv on 80072200 and visit dontwastewaste.gov.mt for more information and useful tips. Do your bit!