M DEL RÍO MERINO(1), P I GRACIA(1) and I S-W AZEVEDO(2)
(1) Dept. of Architectural Constructions. Polytechnic University of Madrid. (U.P.M)
(2) Dept. of Applied Linguistics, Polytechnic University of Madrid. (U.P.M)
Spain is the fifth largest country in Europe in terms of generating construction and demolition waste (C&DW) and unfortunately, it is one, which does the least to recycle it. From all the C&DW generated in Spain, approximately a 60% is to masonry rubble and 20%approximately is to concrete debris.
Demolition waste has a well-known re-use potential. This re-utilization has, nevertheless, certain limitations due to technical and market reasons, and basically due to the lack of regulations as well as the ridiculously high costs of disposal. The challenge for the future is therefore, to reconcile human economic development with the preservation of the environment supporting it: that is, achieving sustainable growth.
In spite of the increase in society’s awareness of the need to protect the environment and to recycle, and in spite of the policies carried out to promote these principles, Spain is still in the early stages. The C&DW is still largely thrown into the landfill dumps. This solution is clearly not sustainable in the near future given the increasingly and constant rising volume of waste and the antagonistic disappearance of natural resources. A rigorous application of the waste disposal law and a considerable increase in the disposal taxes, together with encouraging the use of recycling aggregates are some of the most needed directives to mitigate the serious polluting effect caused by the C&DW.