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This article therefore reviews areas of waste interventions that seek to address these impacts.It then aims to explain the systemic mechanisms that currently lead to end-of-use building components being discarded as waste, and, in response, describe a series of interlinked activities to support (a) the identification and separation of reusable components, and (b) an incremental increase in the capacity for component management.
A triage process is proposed to capture timely information about existing building components to be discarded, make this information visible to a wide community, and determine usefulness by focusing creativity already present in the industry on an exhaustive examination of component reusability and upcyclability.
The global construction industry uses around 23 Gtpa of non-fuel raw materials .
The recycled wood chip has a lower economic value than the joist from which it came.
It also has reduced ‘utility’, considered as a function of the displaced impacts of extracting and processing a primary material, and the performance of that material’s duty through a period of time.
Secondly, the impacts of transportation and recycling processes can be considerable.
Thirdly, recycling processes can be highly wasteful.
Extraction of these resources causes environmental damage, loss of habitat and biodiversity, and changes in land use patterns .
Processing and transporting those resources to supply useful building materials depletes reserves of non-renewable energy, and, in the UK, represents 8% of total greenhouse gas emissions [3,4].
BRE’s SMARTWaste data , derived from thousands of individually reported projects, indicated a recycling rate of 91% in 2012.
However, national and EU legislation does not set separate targets for reuse and recycling, and the main route for waste streams diverted from landfill has been recycling into lower value products—downcycling—often in an open loop.