Reducing building waste in Alice Springs

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Construction and demolition (C&D) waste is a critical issue in Australia, where it forms more than one third of the total waste generated. Several town councils and other regulatory authorities have developed policies towards construction and demolition material recovery and resource efficiency. However the situation with C&D waste is very different in the Northern Territory, especially in remote regional centres such as Alice Springs. Little information on construction waste management makes it difficult to form appropriate polices for waste reduction in this town. This project examines the composition of construction waste stream and identifies some of the challenges facing material recovery in Alice Springs. The study used a qualitative methodology and data was collected through interviews of building contractors. The analysis of this data helped construct a list of construction and demolition waste materials generated on sites. The interviews also revealed the builders’ approach to waste management and help identify some of the critical challenges to waste management in Alice Springs. The findings reveal that some of the barriers facing the building industry recycling and reusing of construction waste are: limited options for recycling construction waste; lack of incentives and regulations for sorting waste; limited information on what C&D materials can be recycled and how; and a marked difference between the pro-environment attitude of construction professionals and their actions. It is recommended that the Alice Springs Regional Waste Management authority has different disposal fee structure for sorted and unsorted waste and uses flyers to inform the builders about the recycling options. Additionally there is need for more research on quantity of C&D waste generated, identifying ways of reducing waste in design and planning stages as well as identifying new markets for recycling C&D waste materials.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDarwin, Australia
PublisherCharles Darwin University
Commissioning bodyNorthern Territory Environment Protection Authority
Number of pages33
VolumeJuly 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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