The United Kingdom’s Mineral Products Association (MPA) has published a new report on the use of Construction, Demolition and Excavation Waste (CDEW) produced by the country’s construction industry.
The Construction Sector Deal indicates that around 120 million tonnes of CDEW is generated by construction activity every year, and the report says that more than three-quarters of it is currently being recycled or recovered back into the ‘chain of utility’ by the minerals and waste management industries.
The report highlights that 90% of all hard construction and demolition (C&D) is recycled in aggregates markets, while 57% of soft excavation waste is used beneficially, mainly in backfilling operations to recycle land, which often follows the end of mineral extraction.
Excluding navigational dredging spoil and hazardous waste, the MPA analysis shows that only 26 million tonnes of the total waste stream generated by the construction sector is actually sent for disposal.
“The need for resources and waste materials to be used more efficiently and effectively has never been so strong,” said MPA chief executive Nigel Jackson.
“The mineral products sector plays an important role in contributing towards the circular economy. However, the absence of robust data relating to the generation of waste products and their subsequent use back into the ‘chain of utility’ must not be used to overshadow the performance of UK industry in recycling and recovery of waste resources.
“We need to understand what additional actions are needed to further reduce the 26 million tonnes of CDEW produced by the construction industry that are actually being disposed of.”
The MPA represents more than 500 companies who together supplied £18 billion (US$ 23.5 billion) of materials to the economy according to the latest figures.