EU Construction and Demolition Waste Protocol and Guidelines

The European Commission published non-binding guides as a recommendation to the industry on how to address demolition and Construction Demolition Waste (CDW). The documents are:

  • Construction and Demolition Waste Management Protocol
  • Guidelines for the waste audits before demolition and renovation works of buildings

Both documents were translated to several European languages to promote their use by market operators.

The main principle considered in the development of the guides is the importance of proper management of CDW and recycled materials, including the correct handling of hazardous waste. Proper waste use can have major benefits in terms of sustainability and provide benefits for the EU construction and recycling industry, as it boosts demand for CDW as recycled materials.

The protocol fits within the Circular Economy strategy. Its overall aim is to increase confidence in the CDW management process and the trust in the quality of Construction and Demolition recycled materials. This will be achieved by:

  • Waste identification, source separation and collection
  • Waste logistics
  • Waste processing
  • Quality management
  • Policy and framework conditions

The Construction and Demolition waste protocol includes good practices, an overview of definitions and a checklist for practitioners to facilitate tasks related to CDW management.

Improvement of the secondary materials market
was identified by construction products manufacturers
as the most relevant action to enhance circularity in construction

The guidelines for the waste audits provide guidance on best practices for the assessment of construction and demolition waste streams prior to demolition or renovation of buildings and infrastructures, called “waste audit”. The aim of the guidance is to facilitate and maximize recovery of materials and components from demolition or renovation of buildings and infrastructures for beneficial reuse and recycling, without compromising the safety measures and practices outlined in the European Demolition Protocol. The document offers information on the following topics:

  • Waste audits
  • Quality assessment of waste audits
  • Recommended waste audit process
  • Waste management recommendations
  • European waste catalogue
  • Recommended templates for inventories and waste