Is waste a waste?

waste
Velde Pukk, Sandnes construction and demolition waste facility. Photo: CDE Global.

The construction industry in India generates huge amounts of waste annually. If this waste is converted into useful construction products it helps meet the building material requirement of the construction sector.

The Norwegian institute SINTEF, one of the world’s leading research institutes on waste management is collaborating with Central Public Works Department (CPWD), India’s premier public sector construction agency, in the field of construction and demolition waste management.

The Norwegian institution SINTEF has a technology that recycles concrete and masonry waste into aggregate (building) material. While retrievable items such as bricks, wood, metal and tiles are recycled, the concrete and masonry waste are not being currently recycled in India. This recycled concrete and masonry waste, accounting for more than 50% of the waste from construction and demolition aggregate, can be used to make concrete for road construction and building material.

A day long workshop was organized by SINTEF and CPWD in New Delhi to deliberate on issues and challenges facing the construction and demolition waste management in India. The workshop was a part of a four year collaboration between SINTEF and CPWD, supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Inaugurating the workshop, Arild Oksnevad, Counsellor, Norwegian Embassy in India, mentioned that Norway’s mandatory waste management rules and criteria for demolition projects were introduced as early as in 1996. The waste management rules are currently fully implemented and enforced in all the 19 provinces in Norway. The efforts have increased the construction and demolition waste recovery from less than 40% to more than 60% within 10 years, in many provinces.

The CPWD is carrying out three such projects in Delhi/NCR and seems keen on learning from Norway for improving upon their processes.