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An overview of construction and demolition waste management in Canada: a lifecycle analysis approach to sustainability


The construction and demolition (C&D) waste generated by the Canadian construction industry accounts for 27 % of the total municipal solid waste disposed in landfills. However, it is evident that over 75 % of what the construction industry generates as waste has a residual value, and therefore could be recycled, salvaged and/or reused. The need for comprehensive and integrated waste management mechanisms, technologies, rating systems and policies is widely recognized. Owing to increasing C&D waste volumes, shortage of landfills and long-term adverse environmental, economic and social impacts of the disposed C&D waste, sustainable C&D waste management is becoming increasingly essential to protect public health and natural ecosystems. This paper proposes a conceptual C&D waste management framework to maximise the 3R (reduce, reuse and recycle) and minimise the disposal of construction waste by implementing sustainable and comprehensive strategy throughout the lifecycle of construction projects. In addition, a life cycle based C&D waste sustainability index is developed. This approach can be used to make decisions related to selection of material, sorting, recycle/reuse and treatment or disposal options for C&D waste.

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Authors thankfully acknowledge the financial support of Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada through ENGAGE and DG programs of second and the last authors.

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Correspondence to Rehan Sadiq.

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Yeheyis, M., Hewage, K., Alam, M.S. et al. An overview of construction and demolition waste management in Canada: a lifecycle analysis approach to sustainability. Clean Techn Environ Policy 15, 81–91 (2013).

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  • Construction and demolition waste
  • Waste management
  • Sustainability
  • Lifecycle analysis (LCA)