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2020 / 2021 Edition

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EQAR calls for EU standardization of quality-assured recycled materials

EQAR

Implementing EU Construction & Demolition Management Protocol the next logical step, says European Quality Association for Recycling 

AFTER several years of discussions with economic actors, the European Commission published the EU Waste Management & Demolition Management Protocol last autumn. The Protocol explicitly pointed to appropriate political and other framework conditions for dealing with construction and demolition wastes as the key for a successful circular economy in construction.

According to Manfred Wierichs, president of the European Quality Association for Recycling (EQAR), actions should now follow the findings. He warned that high recycling and utilization rates of mineral construction and demolition wastes could be reached if the high quality of the recycled construction materials can be guaranteed. This requires exploration of contaminants to be carried out before starting demolition, planning in advance the selective demolition work and clarifying the possibilities of utilization. 

From the viewpoint of EQAR, the Austrian regulations and, in particular, the Austrian standard B3151 ‘Demolition of structures as standard demolition method’ should be considered as a benchmark.

Mr Wierichs went on to argue that the decisive acceptance factor for construction material recycling is currently lacking – namely the product status for quality-secured recycled construction materials. Recycled materials are subject to harmonized European construction product standards in conformity with the EU Construction Products Regulation and are required to be CE marked. 

With the European test standards for environmental compatibility of aggregates due to be passed – a product status for recycled construction materials may be defined on a European level. Mr Wierichs said he believes the EU Waste Management Protocol questions, rightly and critically, the implementation of the existing legal regulations in the individual EU member states. However, without an accordingly compelling implementation, misuse and improper dumping of mineral wastes may not be prevented.

EQAR sees a clear need for action in some EU member states. Only by eliminating implementation deficits while improving the framework conditions for construction material recycling, the Association said that it would be possible to implement the utilization rate of 70% for all mineral wastes throughout Europe as required by the EC Waste Framework Directive.

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