When construction waste is inadequately treated, it harms the environment and poses a risk to public health; it is a source of contamination for water and air, and a host of problems for the public. It raises the danger of combustion and forest fires, of atmospheric emissions of polluting gases and odours, and causes soil degradation, the contamination of surficial and groundwater aquifers and landscape damages. To preserve and prevent damage to the natural environment caused by CDW mismanagement requires the commitment from all stakeholders.
The problem of illegal Landfills
The indiscriminate dumping of inert waste in areas surrounding the cities, especially on the sides of roads and trails nearby, is one of the main problems that arise in all city outskirts that, as a result, appear desolate and dirty.
In Spain there are numerous uncontrolled landfills that are usually located in ravines on the outskirts of towns and cities.
The role of development companies
The development company is considered the producer of CDW and among its duties is the preparation of a Waste Management Plan that includes the estimated amount generated, generic measures concerning waste prevention at the site, the intended destination, recovery of management costs, etc. At the same time, it should make an inventory of hazardous wastes, if any, and proceed to their selective removal and delivery to authorized bodies.
The producer (operator of the transfer) is required to have signed, prior to the transfer, a treatment contract with an authorized agent (recipient of the transfer) (Art. 5 RD 180/2015). In addition, they must have the documentation attesting that the CDW has been handled.
The role of building contractors
The building contractor is the holder of CDW and is responsible for its proper management either through their own means or by contracting a third party. The holder is required, inter alia, to elaborate a CDW Management Plan, as well as to bear the costs and provide the producer with supporting documentation of the proper handling of CDW. The entry into force of Royal Decree 105/2008 has deferred contractors’ obligation to separate CDW on site to facilitate their later recovery (from certain thresholds).
The building contractor as waste producer has to comply with the obligations contained in the previous section as the operator of the transfer.
The role of CDW management agencies
CDW management agencies are companies that can undertake the collection, storage, transfer, transport, treatment, recovery and disposal of CDW. Their duty is to ensure the proper management of CDW under their responsibility, respecting the chain of action of each manager. If the company is responsible solely for the collection, storage, transfer or transport, it shall also transmit to the holder or manager who delivered the waste to them, the certificates of the subsequent recovery or disposal operations they underwent.
All this information should be available to public administrations should they request it.
The role of public administrations: local-regional-national
These are some of the main actions carried out by the authorities:
– Create laws governing the correct management of waste and control its enforcement.
– Promote the construction of facilities for the correct management of waste.
– Promote the integration, information, sales and use in the market of recycled products.
-Conduct public training and information campaigns regarding the importance of proper CDW management, providing patterns of consumer behaviour, information on how to get involved, why it matters and the environmental and personal benefits.
The role of citizens concerning home renovations
People undergoing home renovations must make sure the waste generated is managed correctly; its final destination meets local legislation (by-laws) requirements and sees to a proper segregation of CDW at source.
There are no environmental obligations on the proper management of waste in minor works since they are considered MSW and are subject to local legislation directives.
Salmedina Treatment of Inert Waste is a company that provides treatment and management of construction and demolition waste. It is located in the district of Villa de Vallecas, in the municipality of Madrid.
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