Words from the EDA President towards a Common EU Demolition Waste Management Protocol

Published 1/7, 2015 at 15:39

Based on volume, Construction and Demolition (C&D) is the largest source for waste stream in the EU – about one third of all waste produced. Proper recycling and treatment of C&D waste can have major impacts and benefits in terms of sustainability, when compared to waste disposal.
EU and national policy makers have already put in place a strong and effective policy framework to promote optimal waste management in the sector. However more can be done to give a second life to C&D waste through meaningful applications.

The “Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe” (COM (2011) 571) sets out the importance of renovating and constructing buildings with greater resource efficiency. The recent “Communication on Resource Efficiency in the Building Sector” (COM (2014) 445) acknowledges the fact that a large majority of C&D waste is recyclable.

However, the scope of the opportunity does not stop there. After processing, recycled C&D waste materials need to find their way to the secondary materials market, where they need to compete with natural materials for their integration into new construction products or other applications.

This is where a lot of opportunity for better applications for processed C&D waste is still lost. One of the largest problems is that the perceived quality of C&D waste is often low. Thus the lack of confidence in the performance of recycled products prevents upcycling and their use in higher grade applications.

A great opportunity for improving the uptake of recycled C&D waste requires increasing confidence in the quality of recovered C&D waste, leading to better functioning markets and a better chance for recovered materials to compete with natural materials.

But markets can only function if recycled products have the high quality and given the confidence they deserve.

For this purpose the European Commission has started the preparation of a Common EU Construction & Demolition Waste Management Protocol.

The Protocol will develop a common set of technical, environmental and managerial principles, which are applicable in the entire EU and based on the highest common standards in each stage of the waste management chain that would be recognized in all Member States.

This Protocol will provide also common language for industry and policy makers in the EU and facilitate the adoption of sound C&D waste management across the EU.

The demolition industry is actively involved on the preparation of the Protocol, with several members of EDA taking part on the meetings and workings groups.

If you are interested in getting involved or have some feedback please contact EDA at:


Pilar de la Cruz

President of the European

Demolition Association


About EDA

The EDA was founded in 1978 and is the leading platform for national demolition associations, demolition contractors and suppliers. The EDA has a strong focus on developments in Europe, which are of interest to the demolition industry.



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