Centre for Science and Environment, Construction and demolition waste, Construction and Demolition Waste Rules and Regulations 2016, Recycled materials, Debris management, Building Material Promotion Council

India manages to recover and recycle only 1% of its construction waste, says CSE analysis

CSE released a new analysis of the C&D waste management sector, titled Another Brick off the Wall, at an online round table

According to the Building Material Promotion Council (BMPTC), India generates an estimated 150 million tonnes of construction and demolition (C&D) waste every year. But the official recycling capacity is a meagre 6,500 tonnes per day (TPD) -- just about one percent. What’s more, unofficial estimates of the total waste generated in the country put the figure at three-five times more than the official estimate.

A new analysis by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), released at a national online round table, has laid bare some of these unpleasant truths about the way the country is managing its C&D waste. Another Brick off the Wall: Improving construction and demolition waste management in Indian cities – as the analysis report is titled – also goes on to recommend a viable plan of action.

CSE director general Sunita Narain said: “Our study shows that as many as 53 cities were expected to set up recycling facilities to recover material from C&D waste by 2017 – but only 13 cities have done that by 2020. This is unacceptable when the demand for primary building material, including minerals, stone, sand, iron ore, aluminum, and timber, is growing at an unprecedented rate. A significant proportion of construction waste can be recycled and reused and brought back to construction to substitute naturally sourced material. This demands a circular economy that can turn C&D waste into a resource. This can help reduce energy intensity and environmental footprints of buildings and infrastructure.”

CSE researchers point out that the sorry state of affairs exists notwithstanding the removal of legal hurdles to using recycled C&D material in construction. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has allowed the use of concrete made from recycled material and processed C&D waste.The Construction and Demolition Waste Rules and Regulations 2016 have mandated reuse of recycled material.

Download the report here.

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