Thursday, 16th December: The Irish Green Building Council (IGBC) launched today a pilot scheme to demonstrate how construction waste can be turned into useful resources.
The construction industry accounts for approximately 50% of materials used on the planet, and 48% of all waste generated in Ireland. Very little of this waste is currently reused, or even recycled. Where recycling does take place, it is often in the form of downcycling, creating aggregates and backfill at best. The objective of the pilot is to demonstrate a feasible, transparent, fair, and user-friendly system for the reuse of construction materials that would otherwise enter the waste stream.
Minister Ossian Smyth T.D. with responsibility for Communications & the Circular Economy at the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications said: “Transitioning to a more circular construction industry is critical to reduce waste and the carbon footprint of the sector. It can also support innovation, while ensuring that resources are kept within the local economy for as long as possible. That’s why we are delighted to support this initiative by the IGBC and encourage many construction companies to get involved”.
The Construction Materials Exchange (CMEx) project aims to identify materials from the waste stream with the potential for reuse and develop mechanisms to enable reuse. This will be achieved through an online platform that generates materials passports and facilitates material matches. Material passports are a digital document containing information on all the parts in a building. They allow all material sources to keep flowing and avoid landfill or incineration.
Pat Barry, CEO at IGBC, added: “There is a significant resource value in construction waste that is simply going unrealised. The objective of the pilot is to address barriers to reuse and raise awareness about this huge potential”.
The CMEx project is funded by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications as part of the Circular Economy Innovation Grant Scheme. The Irish Green Building Council is teaming up on this project with Excess Materials Exchange (EME). EME run a highly successful materials exchange platform in the Netherlands.