Construction and demolition waste in Helsinki : Case study of the circular economy hub HSY Ekomo

University essay from KTH/Hållbar utveckling, miljövetenskap och teknik

Abstract: The limited amount of natural resources on our planet has been actively discussed during the past decade. Recycling materials is becoming increasingly important in order to benefit the economy and the environment. The purpose of this study is to conduct a material flow analysis of the construction and demolition waste in the Helsinki metropolitan area to find out whether or not the goals set by the EU Waste Framework Directive can be reached by 2020. The study aims to map out the flows and suggest improvements wherever needed. The study is conducted by using a case study, HSY Ekomo, the first fully operational circular economy hub in Finland. The results show that both the municipality and private sector are well over the required goal of 70% recyclability rate of construction and demolition waste with a steady positive improvement from the first year of operations. The improvements were over 10% between the year 2016 and 2017. The private sector experiences some turbulence regarding legislation issues such as noise- and environmental permits which limits the economic benefit of recycling construction and demolition waste. Continued monitoring and faster adaption to international standards (such as the EU Waste Framework Directive) is required in order to be able to benefit the most economically and environmentally out of circular economic initiatives.

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