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March 10, 2014
Every year, between 3.2 and 3.5 million tonnes of waste building materials need to be disposed of in Austria as a result of construction, renovation and demolition work. Of this, 90% is concrete, brick or masonry material.
Disposing of this material would be a serious waste of usable secondary raw materials. Even now, a large proportion of this construction waste is recycled as usable material. The EU waste management directive stipulates that by 2020 at least 70% of this kind of waste must be recycled and reused; an ambitious target.
NUA Abfallwirtschaft GmbH, a company belonging to the Brantner Group, have for many years been operating as a building refuse collector and processor and make a significant contribution to achieving this recycling target through the processing of quality-assured recycled construction waste materials. However, even quality-assured recycled building materials are still classified by the legislators as waste, making their marketing difficult.
As far as the EU directives are concerned, the Austrian Ministry for Health is currently drawing up legislation for the environmental processing of construction waste - Regulations for recycled construction materials - that describes waste as being left over after the recycling process, making it easier to market recycled products.
In addition to the formulation of technological and environmental requirements of recycled construction products, builders and construction companies are obliged as part of an ongoing effort to meet target values to undertake construction and demolition work in accordance with new standards as "value-added reuse" in order to ensure that only ecologically sound waste materials are recycled and reused as commercial products.
The requirement to implement even more consistent separation of waste on site, or in special processing plants (building rubble, non-mineral construction waste, building site waste, composite materials, etc.) is needed to ensure the production of recycled building materials in-line with the draft regulation.