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Chapter 13 Unmaking Waste in Construction in the EU and the Asian Circular Economy: A Formal Institutional Approach

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... En la actualidad, los países industrializados en Europa y Asia ya manejan modelos basados en la economía circular, lo que es ampliamente analizado por Korhonen et al. (2018) y Li et al. (2018. Esos modelos permiten alargar la vida útil de las materias primas y los objetos, mediante procesos de reutilización, remanufacturación y restauración, de forma que menos elementos se conviertan en basura y así se facilita su gestión. ...
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En Latinoamérica, los sitios de emplazamiento de un relleno sanitario como tecnología de disposición final, se configuran como zonas altamente conflictivas desde una perspectiva socioambiental, lo que pudiera ser atribuible a los ineficientes procesos técnicos, administrativos y políticos que experimenta la región de forma generalizada. Además, al ser fuentes de contaminación en potencia generan una gran oposición ciudadana por las implicaciones en la salud pública y en los recursos naturales. Como consecuencia de las grandes cantidades de desechos que se generan por falta de empoderamiento en procesos de reutilización y reciclaje, para los países en vías de desarrollo aún es imperante contar con rellenos sanitarios en mayor número y superficie. En este contexto, cada país de la región ha desarrollado cuerpos legales anclados a sus respectivas políticas públicas, en donde establecen los criterios mínimos a cumplir para la implementación de un sitio de disposición final. El presente artículo realiza una revisión sistemática de 14 de estas normas latinoamericanas y su posterior comparación con las variables de la regulación ecuatoriana, con el fin de establecer oportunidades de mejora desde una perspectiva técnica y legal, que contribuyan a un desarrollo sustentable del Ecuador.
... En la actualidad, los países industrializados en Europa y Asia ya manejan modelos basados en la economía circular, lo que es ampliamente analizado por Korhonen et al. (2018) y Li et al. (2018. Esos modelos permiten alargar la vida útil de las materias primas y los objetos, mediante procesos de reutilización, remanufacturación y restauración, de forma que menos elementos se conviertan en basura y así se facilita su gestión. ...
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Full-text available
En Latinoamérica, los sitios de emplazamiento de un relleno sanitario como tecnología de disposición final, se configuran como zonas altamente conflictivas desde una perspectiva socioambiental, lo que pudiera ser atribuible a los ineficientes procesos técnicos, administrativos y políticos que experimenta la región de forma generalizada. Además, al ser fuentes de contaminación en potencia generan una gran oposición ciudadana por las implicaciones en la salud pública y en los recursos naturales. Como consecuencia de las grandes cantidades de desechos que se generan por falta de empoderamiento en procesos de reutilización y reciclaje, para los países en vías de desarrollo aún es imperante contar con rellenos sanitarios en mayor número y superficie. En este contexto, cada país de la región ha desarrollado cuerpos legales anclados a sus respectivas políticas públicas, en donde establecen los criterios mínimos a cumplir para la implementación de un sitio de disposición final. El presente artículo realiza una revisión sistemática de 14 de estas normas latinoamericanas y su posterior comparación con las variables de la regulación ecuatoriana, con el fin de establecer oportunidades de mejora desde una perspectiva técnica y legal, que contribuyan a un desarrollo sustentable del Ecuador.
... CE is one of the areas of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The talking point in CSR-related papers is the relationship between corporate social responsibility and circular economy as a consequence of limited sources and environmental problems [1][2][3]. This approach improves business sustainability by reinserting waste into the supply chain to manufacture products on-demand in different industries [4][5][6][7]. ...
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This article describes research done within the CIRCE2020 project, implemented under the Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE 2014–2020 Programme. The main aim is to present the results of a life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle costing (LCC) carried out for a recycling plant in Wielkopolska. From the LCA perspective, the analyzed recycling plant performs two functions; therefore, two research approaches were adopted: from the final waste management perspective (Approach 1) and from the production of secondary products (Approach 2). From the first perspective, the total environmental impact for the reference flow (215.140 kg of multi-material waste) was 552.32 Pt. When focused on the second perspective, the environmental impact for the production of plastic boards (3.073 boards) reached 659.58 Pt. The difference in the obtained values results from the fact that the second analysis, besides waste processing, included additionally the generation of raw materials corrected by the quality factor. The total production cost of boards made of multi-material waste was PLN 165,957.23. Energy consumption is the main cost-generating element of production and also the most important environmental hot spot. To increase environmental efficiency and reduce costs, the use of technology allowing for the reduction of energy demand should be considered first.
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The built environment puts major pressure on the natural environment; its role in transitioning to a circular economy (CE) is therefore fundamental. However, current CE research tends to focus either on the macro-scale, such as eco-parks, or the micro-scale, such as manufactured products, with the risk of ignoring the additional impacts and potentials at the meso-scale of individual buildings. This article sets out to unpack the fundamental defining dimensions of a CE and frame them for CE studies for the built environment. A critical literature review forms the basis for identifying and framing such fundamental dimensions. Our contribution highlights the key roles of interdisciplinary research and of both bottom-up and top-down initiatives in facilitating the transition to 'circular buildings'. The frame for reference has been used to capture current discourse on the sustainability of the built environment and has proved to be a valuable tool to cluster existing initiatives and highlight missing links for interdisciplinary endeavours. The article represents a contribution to the theoretical foundations of CE research in the built environment and a stepping stone to shape future research initiatives.
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In this decade and the coming century, the natural environment will be an important arena for economic, competition. Ecological issues regarding energy, natural resources, pollution, and waste offer both competitive opportunities and constraints, and are changing the competitive landscape in many industries. Corporations can gain competitive advantage by managing ecological variables. This paper explains the concept of ‘environmental technologies’ as a competitive force and a tool for competitive advantage. Environmental technologies offer a new substantive orientation and a management process for minimizing ecological impacts of economic production while enhancing Competitiveness of firms. The practical application of environmental technologies is illustrated using a mini case example of 3M Corporation. Strategic implications of environmental technologies for competitiveness are explored.
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Mathematical models of inventory typically include the three inventory associated costs of surplus, shortage and ordering. These classic inventory models are then analysed so as to choose inventory parameters that usually minimise the total cost of operating the inventory system being investigated. Unfortunately, classic inventory models do not provide a meaningful basis for analysing many real and increasingly important practical inventory problems and situations. It is therefore not surprising that over recent years, several authors have discussed these issues in broad terms and suggested that a new paradigm needs to be developed. This paper develops some specific aspects of this discussion. In particular, the paper identifies a range of inventory problems that are not covered appropriately by traditional inventory analysis. One of these is to design responsible inventory systems, i.e. systems that reflect the needs of the environment. The paper then examines the importance of inventory planning to the environment in greater detail. For example, packaging is important, not only because of its costs and the protection that it provides to the inventory items, but also because of its eventual effects on the environment in terms of the use of resources and potential landfill. For similar reasons, waste, which can result from poor inventory management, is highly important. The location of stores is important because location affects transport costs. Thus the influence of the secondary aspects of most inventory models; packaging, waste and location are important but, even more important are the inter-relations with the total system. In particular, the location of the manufacturing plants and the effect that inventory planning has on the logistics chain, potentially have considerable environmental implications. Inventory is part of a wider system. However, until the cost charged for an activity reflects the true environmental cost of that activity, it is likely that decisions will be made on the basis of erroneous data. In that situation, we are faced with either determining the environmental cost of specific actions or to use environmental costs that are somewhat contrived; in which case it may be more sensible to use very different performance measures and models. The paper discusses these ideas and ways in which inventory policies may reassure us with our environmental concerns.
Article
Promoting a circular economy has been identified as China’s basic national policy, according to the recently enacted 11th five-year plan for China’s economic and social development. Because of the importance of the development strategy used for this purpose, an implementation framework is proposed in this paper. First, a program is suggested for practically implementing a circular economy in China to serve as a demonstration, beginning at the level of enterprises, then industrial parks, then expanding to cities and regions, thus enabling accumulation of experience to facilitate reasonable decision-making at each successive step. Legislation is also urgent. Certain issues involving legislation, for example the rules the law requires, maneuverability, public involvement, and referencing of developed countries’ experiences, must be effectively addressed. Finally, a scientific and effective assessment system should be developed to obtain accurate information and improve guidance. Assessment indices should include an economic development index, a green development index, and a human development index.
Article
This paper evaluates the two well-known final waste disposal methods, incineration and landfilling. In particular we compare the social cost of two best-available technologies using a point estimate based on private and environmental cost data for the Netherlands. Not only does our comparison allow for Waste-to-Energy incineration plants but for landfills as well. The data provide support for the widespread policy preference for incineration over landfilling only if the analysis is restricted to environmental costs alone and includes savings of both energy and material recovery. Gross private costs, however, are so much higher for incineration, that landfilling is the social cost minimizing option at the margin even in a densely populated country such as the Netherlands. Furthermore, we show that our result generalizes to other European countries and probably to the USA. Implications for waste policy are discussed as well. Proper treatment of and energy recovery from landfills seem to be the most important targets for waste policy. Finally, WTE plants are a very expensive way to save on climate change emissions.
Article
One of the major hindrances to waste minimisation on a construction site is the difficulty in establishing a methodology and using this methodology to benchmark future construction projects. This paper introduces SMARTWaste, a software tool that has been used to audit, reduce and target waste arisings on a construction site. This tool tries to link the construction process and the waste hierarchy. That is reducing waste on a construction site rather than landfilling it. Three applications of the SMARTWaste software will be discussed using case studies from three different types of construction. An evaluation of these case studies shows that, by implementing a waste minimisation scheme on-site, you can improve material recovery for reuse. Also, by using the waste arisings as a benchmark you can reduce your waste arisings on future sites. Application of SMARTWaste or a similar waste minimisation tool on a wider basis could reduce waste arisings and could result in a built environment that consumed less natural resources and energy, and also produced less pollution and waste. Such a built environment would be environmentally and socially more responsive and responsible.
Article
'ZeroWIN' (Towards Zero Waste in Industrial Networks--www.zerowin.eu) is a five year project running 2009-2014, funded by the EC under the 7th Framework Programme. Project ZeroWIN envisions industrial networks that have eliminated the wasteful consumption of resources. Zero waste is a unifying concept for a range of measures aimed at eliminating waste and challenging old ways of thinking. Aiming for zero waste will mean viewing waste as a potential resource with value to be realised, rather than as a problem to be dealt with. The ZeroWIN project will investigate and demonstrate how existing approaches and tools can be improved and combined to best effect in an industrial network, and how innovative technologies can contribute to achieving the zero waste vision.
Article
Research interests in addressing construction and demolition (C&D) waste management issues have resulted in a large amount of publications during the last decade. This study demonstrates that there is no systematic examination on the research development in literature in the discipline of C&D waste management. This study presents the latest research trend in the discipline through analyzing the publications from 2000 to 2009 in eight major international journals. The analysis is conducted on the number of papers published annually, main authors' contributions, research methods and data analysis methods adopted, and research topics covered. The results exhibit an increasing research interest in C&D waste management in recent years. Researchers from developed economies have contributed significantly to the development of the research in the discipline. Some developing countries such as Malaysia and China have also been making good efforts in promoting C&D waste management research. The findings from this study also indicate that survey and case study are major methods for data collection, and the data are mostly processed through descriptive analysis. It is anticipated that more future studies on C&D waste management will be led by researchers from developing economies, where construction works will remain their major economic activities. On the other hand, more sophisticated modeling and simulating techniques have been used effectively in a number of studies on C&D waste management research, and this is considered a major methodology for future research in the discipline. C&D waste management will continue to be a hot research topic in the future, in particularly, the importance of human factors in C&D waste management has emerged as a new challenging topic.
Article
Applying the principles of sustainability to human activities ultimately must result in the scrutiny of all sectors of economic activity to assess the changes required to provide for a high quality of life for future generations. A high priority for evaluation, in the light of its impacts on environmental quality and resources, is industrial activity in general and the construction industry specifically. The construction sector consumes 40% of all extracted materials in the USA, and accounts for 30% of national energy consumption for its operation. The sustainability of this industrial sector is dependent on a fundamental shift in the way resources are used, from non-renewables to renewables, from high levels of waste to high levels of reuse and recycling, and from products based on lowest first cost to those based on life-cycle costs and full cost accounting, especially as applied to waste and emissions from the industrial processes that support construction activity. The emerging field of industrial ecology provides some insights into sustainability in the built environment or sustainable construction. Construction, like other industries, would benefit from observing the metabolic behaviour of natural systems where sustainability is built in. This paper describes a view of the construction industry based on natural systems and industrial ecology for the purpose of beginning the discovery of how to shift the construction industry and its supporting materials industries onto a path much closer to the ideals of sustainability.
Article
The emerging concept of lean construction is concerned with the application of lean thinking to the construction industry. The ideas of lean thinking seem set to dominate the UK construction industry's quest to improve quality and efficiency. However, the current debate is based on a highly selective interpretation of the available literature. The extent to which the Japanese model of lean production is applicable in Western contexts remains hotly debated. An extensive body of critical opinion equates the Japanese model of lean production with technocratic totalitarianism. Whilst the claims of productivity achievements in Japanese manufacturing transplants are impressive, the rhetoric of flexibility, quality and teamwork too often translates in practice to control, exploitation and surveillance. Furthermore, it cannot be taken for granted that any increases in productivity necessarily serve the interests of the end customer. The current agenda for the implementation of lean thinking in the UK construction industry notably ignores the extensive critical literature on lean production. In the absence of a more balanced research agenda, there is a danger that dogma rather than a balanced appraisal of the available evidence will drive construction policy.
Article
The construction, demolition and excavation waste arising in England was estimated at 91 million tonnes in 2003. The current thinking on construction waste minimisation is heavily focussed on several issues relating to physical construction waste and recycling guides. Indeed, much had been published on ways to improve on-site waste management and recycling activities but very few attempts made to address the effect of design practices on waste generation. However, there is a consensus in the literature that the architect has a decisive role to play in helping to reduce waste by focussing on designing out waste. This paper examines previous studies on architects' approach towards construction waste minimisation; and by means of a postal questionnaire, investigates: the origins of waste; waste minimisation design practices in the UK; and responsibilities and barriers within the UK architectural profession. The findings reveal that waste management is not a priority in the design process. Additionally, the architects seemed to take the view that waste is mainly produced during site operations and rarely generated during the design stages; however, about one-third of construction waste could essentially arise from design decisions. Results also indicate that a number of constraints, namely: lack of interest from clients; attitudes towards waste minimisation; and training all act as disincentives to a proactive and sustainable implementation of waste reduction strategies during the design process.
Unilever North America reaches 100% zero waste to landfill across distribution centers. Press Release
  • Unilever
Unilever. (2015). Unilever North America reaches 100% zero waste to landfill across distribution centers. Press Release. Retrieved from https://www.unileverusa.com/news/ press-releases/2015/unilever-north-america-reaches-100-percent-zero-waste-tolandfill-across-distribution-centers.html
Review of selected waste streams: Sewage sludge, construction and demolition waste, waste oils, waste from coal-fired power plants and biodegradable municipal waste
  • J Brodersen
  • J Juul
  • H Jacobsen
Brodersen, J., Juul, J., & Jacobsen, H. (2002). Review of selected waste streams: Sewage sludge, construction and demolition waste, waste oils, waste from coal-fired power plants and biodegradable municipal waste. Retrieved from https://www.eea.europa. eu/publications/technical_report_2001_69
The study of landfill situations in Thailand. Paper presented at the 1 Mae Fah Luang University International Conferemce
  • T Chinda
  • N Leewattana
  • N Leeamnuayjaroen
Chinda, T., Leewattana, N., & Leeamnuayjaroen, N. (2012). The study of landfill situations in Thailand. Paper presented at the 1 Mae Fah Luang University International Conferemce 2012, Thailand.
The zero waste solution
  • P Connett
Connett, P. (2013). The zero waste solution. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing.