CSIR-CBRI Hosts Industry Meet on Sustainable Construction Using C&D Waste

The Industry Meet organized by CSIR-CBRI emphasized the urgent need for proper coordination, accountability, and awareness in the effective collection, segregation, recycling, and utilization of Construction and Demolition (C&D) wastes, bringing together 75 professionals ( government and industry people) to discuss sustainable construction practices and address the challenges posed by India's rapidly growing C&D waste.

The Industry Meet organized by CSIR-CBRI

The event, held at the India Habitat Center in New Delhi, was graced by esteemed dignitaries including Ar. Rajesh K. Kaushal, Director General of CPWD, as the Chief Guest, and Dr. Sanjay Pant, Deputy Director General of BIS, as the Guest of Honour. In his inaugural address, Ar. Kaushal emphasized the importance of sustainable construction practices that leverage C&D waste, while Dr. Pant highlighted critical standards and regulatory frameworks necessary for sustainable construction, underlining the need for adherence to guidelines for environmental sustainability.

Prof. R. Pradeep Kumar, Director of CSIR-CBRI, welcomed participants and stressed the importance of achieving 100% utilization of C&D waste to foster a circular economy. Dr. D.P. Kanungo provided a comprehensive overview of the meet, outlining its agenda and objectives. The event was coordinated by Prof. S.K. Singh, ensuring smooth execution and engagement of participants.

The Industry Meet organized by CSIR-CBRI

The Industry Meet featured three panel discussions covering various dimensions of C&D waste management and sustainable construction practices. Experts in the respective fields, including Dr. Shailesh K. Agrawal, ED of BMTPC; Dr. L.P. Singh, DG of NCCBM; and Dr. S.R. Karade, Chief Scientist of CSIR-CBRI, moderated these discussions, fostering insightful exchanges and idea-sharing among participants.

Estimates indicate that India's construction industry generates about 150-500 million tonnes of C&D waste annually, posing challenges such as unauthorized dumping, lack of disposal space, and environmental hazard. Rapid urbanization, booming construction activities, and subsequent demolition processes significantly contribute to this waste generation.

The Industry Meet organized by CSIR-CBRI

The sustainable management of C&D waste has become a pressing concern in India due to its large volume, negative environmental and societal impacts, lack of recycling infrastructure, and inadequate stakeholder coordination. Despite the annual demand of 45,000 - 50,000 million tonnes of aggregates for infrastructure projects (roads, railways, etc.), and the proven quality of recycled C&D materials, India recycles only 1% of its C&D waste, according to the Center for Science and Environment.

The Industry Meet organized by CSIR-CBRI

In response to this challenge, the Government of India introduced the Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules in 2016, the first initiative of its kind to specifically address C&D waste. These rules mandate local authorities to use recycled C&D materials in municipal and government contracts, establish waste management facilities, and encourage proper waste segregation at the source and its channelling to recycling facilities. However, implementation remains inconsistent across states and cities due to financial constraints, lack of technical expertise, and limited public awareness.

Conference discussions revealed that although India has over 70 recycling facilities for C&D debris, the unavailability of waste at plant sites is a concern due to transportation costs and illegal dumping. The supply chain costs of waste acquisition, transportation, and processing are significant challenges owing to the lack of stringent regulations and enforcement.

The Industry Meet organized by CSIR-CBRI

Additional issues include the lack of incentives and awareness about recycling techniques, unavailability of guidelines and enforcement rules, and inadequate coordination among stakeholders (C&D contractors, government engineers, architects, RMC producers, recycling plant owners, etc.). There is also a gap between policy formulation and implementation with local bodies often facing challenges due to limited funds, lack of expertise, and insufficient enforcement mechanisms. Awareness about the importance of C&D waste management and recycling is low among stakeholders, leading to illegal dumping and non-compliance with regulations.

The Industry Meet organized by CSIR-CBRI

A key suggestion from the event was the creation of a portal for accountability and awareness, where government officials and stakeholders can update information regarding C&D waste generation, utilization, techniques, and recycling plants, making it accessible to all. Proper coordination among stakeholders and increased awareness are essential for the effective collection, segregation, recycling, and utilization of C&D wastes.

Overall, the Industry Meet served as a vital platform for stakeholders to converge, exchange knowledge, and chart a path towards sustainable construction practices leveraging C&D waste effectively.
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