Accelerated urbanization and expansion of infrastructure (roads, airports, etc.) have brought a construction boom in most of the countries of the MENA region, resulting in a considerable increase of Construction and Demolition Waste (CDW) quantities. When referring to CDW we mean materials such as concrete, bricks, wood, glass, metals, plastic and they constitute a considerable fraction of the annually generated solid waste.
Among the most significant barriers within the whole of the Mediterranean region are the unfavourable market conditions for the recovery of this waste due to a lack of trust in the quality of the recycled products, very low raw material prices and cheap or free landfill costs.
Sustainable Construction & Demolition Waste Management is a strategic approach that addresses resource minimization and resource management during all phases of a project in an integrated manner, with an emphasis on maximizing resource and energy use efficiency. It also gives due consideration to the local context (local material use; climate considerations, socio-economic aspects) and stakeholder engagement.
It is these principles in practice that the EU funded Water and Environment Support (WES) project’s Study Visit (combined with an interactive workshop) aimed to showcase in the Région Sud, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur from 20 to 22 September 2022. Recent developments of relevance to the MENA region, innovative approaches in the sector, but also challenges and lessons learned, were in focus, along with the experience exchange among the 24 trainees from the WES Partner Countries that participated, namely Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia.
During the first two days, the participants visited five different CDW sites, located within and outside the metropolitan area of Marseille, ranging from material sorting to recycling and crushing, all the while closely interacting with the host CDW processors on key technological solutions, already tested on the ground in the South of France.
On the last day of the training (21/09/2022) a Workshop took place, during which the participants consolidated the gained knowledge from the sites visited, were updated on the legal and economic EU context and state of the art in connection to the facilities visited the days before, and exchanged on CDW management practices in the Southern Mediterranean (also by the participating Peers active in the on-going WES CDW Peer-to-Peer process). It also offered the opportunity for another EU-funded project (ENI CBC-Med RE-MED) to present its valuable outputs to date achieving thus an important cross-fertilisation between the two regional projects.
The trainees expressed their appreciation for this WES experience and for the opportunity of joining the Study Visit and workshop on sustainable construction and demolition waste management. Involved at a professional level, either in the policy, legal, institutional or technical and operational aspects of the sector, all participating stakeholders committed to advancing the sector in their country, each in their own capacity. Despite the many challenges, the sustainable management of CDW, among other things, contributes to a safer and cleaner environment and stimulates national and particularly local and decentralised economies, creating new jobs and better overall quality of life.
The Study Visit and workshop were organised by WES consortium partners ACR+ and MIO-ECSDE and kindly hosted by the Région Sud, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. Read more details at https://www.wes-med.eu/activities_type/re-4-reg-st-management-of-construction-demolition-waste-cdw/.