Waste during the construction phase

afvalbeheer op de bouwwerf

During the construction phase, waste flows such as offcuts, excess materials, formwork materials, packaging, etc. are created. When this waste is collected on site and disposed of in containers of ‘mixed construction waste’, the majority of it is incinerated or sent to landfill. Today, however, there are many ways to get these materials back into circulation.

Meaning and importance

Many material producers provide collection options for ‘clean’ waste streams, which they then reintroduce, via a recycling process, into the production process as secondary raw materials. An economically responsible way of organising the sorted collection on site and distribution to the right sales channels is the biggest challenge here. However, a good waste management plan can save a lot of materials from incineration or landfill.

A greatly reduced amount of waste thanks to adequate waste prevention is of course even better. Actions such as off-site preparations, smart sizing or lean planning can contribute to lower waste production on site.

logo tool circulair gebouwd

How was this included in the Circular Built tool?

Through projects such as Pilootwerven voor Afval in Brussel (CPDB), BBSM, FCRBE, Proeftuin Circulair Bouwen, Digital Deconstruction, and Protocole de déconstruction pour la Région de Bruxelles-capitale, the BBRI has in recent years built up expertise in waste management on construction sites and the reuse of construction materials. Based on these practical experiences and insights, in the tool we have listed the main options for dealing with waste during the construction phase.

For waste management during both construction and maintenance, we have again defined the must-haves and extras.


How can you measure this?

The GRO checklist OMG3 contains a section on construction and demolition waste. Based on that you can qualitatively evaluate how much focus there is on waste management. You could also go a step further and monitor construction waste during the construction phase. This allows you to really measure how much waste is produced and how much of it has a high reuse value.

Real-life examples

De binnenkant van het voorbeeldproject - Living Lab van KULeuven
Living Lab Emergis de ingang

Which tools can help us here?