Optimal Management of Construction Waste


  • Dino Obradović Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture Osijek
  • Marija Šperac Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture Osijek


Circular economy, Construction waste, Optimal management, Pollution, Recycling


Construction waste is a key issue of modern society. Construction waste is a type of waste generated during the construction of buildings, reconstruction, demolition and maintenance of the existing buildings, and waste generated from excavated materials which cannot be reused for the construction of new buildings without prior recycling or processing. Moreover, construction waste is generated during the production of semi-finished and finished construction products and materials, as well as during the construction and reconstruction of roads. Large quantities of construction waste are generated by earthquakes, floods and destruction caused by war. Construction waste predominantly (95 %) consists of inert waste which means that it is not subject to physical, chemical or biological changes, that it does not dissolve or chemically react, is not flammable, and is not degradable using biodegradable means. Some types of inert construction waste are ceramics, plaster, gypsum, concrete, iron, steel, waste from demolition of buildings, wood, plastics, etc. It may contain hazardous components such as asbestos or asphalt binders, and these components classify it as hazardous waste. Construction waste can generally be divided into three broad categories, such as construction material, demolition waste and hazardous waste. We generate less waste by construction than by demolition. Construction and demolition waste account for the largest percentage of total waste in the European Union – in terms of its volume, it accounts for almost one-third of all waste. For the purpose of achieving the optimal management of construction waste, the following hierarchical approach must be followed: prevention of waste, preparation for reuse, recycling, other treatment procedures, waste disposal. It is necessary to develop a circular economy covering the cycle from construction to demolition to new construction that uses recycled waste materials. Using the available modern technologies, it is possible to reuse most of the construction waste as secondary raw material. The optimal management of construction waste significantly reduces environmental pollution.