RESEARCH ARTICLE


Rate of Reusable and Recyclable Waste in Construction



Vivian W.Y. Tam*, 1
School of Engineering, University of Western Sydney, Penrith South DC, NSW 1797, Australia.


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© 2011 Vivian W.Y. Tam.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the School of Engineering, University of Western Sydney, Penrith South DC, NSW 1797, Australia; Tel: (61) 2-4736-0105; Fax: (61) 2-4736-0833; E-mail: vivianwytam@gmail.com


Abstract

Construction solid waste has caused serious environmental problems. Reuse, recycling and reduction of construction materials have been advocated for many years, and various methods have been investigated. However, the effectiveness of its applications seems limited. This paper examines rates of reusable and recyclable waste for six major types of building materials: plastic, paper, timber, metal, glass and concrete. The rates of reusable and recyclable waste define as ratios of actual reusable and recyclable material over total construction waste. Five case studies are conducted in Hong Kong for the investigation. It is found that “metal” has the highest rate of reusable and recyclable waste and “plastic” has the lowest rate. This examination leads to the identification of the major barriers on reuse and recycling of construction materials in the local construction industry. Recommendations to improve the reusable and recyclable rates are also discussed.

Keywords: Construction waste, rate of reusable and recyclable waste, waste management, Hong Kong.