Mohan Ramanathan, MD, Advanced Construction Technologies & Founder Chairman-IDA Demolition LLP
Our PM has set an ambitious target of zero emissions by 2070 and based on the announcement, many corporates have set their own targets to reach Net Zero within their spheres of activity. As far as the Construction Industry is concerned, there are no signs of any serious adoption of waste reduction or reuse measures in large project sites, so much so that this vision remains a dream for many.
The C&D waste recycling rules of 2016 mandates major cities and large polluters to adopt methods of recycling, but till date it stays a rule only. The public in general must become sensitive to this issue, but I feel that it may take another 20 years or so for the Indian public to demand C&D recycling.
In India, reputed institutions like CBRI, IIT, and NIT have taken up research on the reuse of many materials; in fact, there is enough research data available in India for recyclable materials, but sadly, not many takers. Also, specialised equipment is not freely available, although the situation is changing, thanks to a new crop of young entrepreneurs.
In India, a stumbling block is the absence of building codes to allow the use of recycled materials in mainstream construction, though in 2016, BIS had changed the IS:383 code for use of aggregates in construction. Now, consultants can use this modified code to design concrete mixes by adding up to 25% of RCA (Recycled Concrete Aggregate) in concrete mixes up to M25. (But I am yet to see consultants use this provision in their projects). Once such codes become popular, and the industry starts using these provisions, then the supply-demand cycle will become more active and circular economy will be implemented.
Bodies like ICI, BAI, and ACCE are conducting seminars on this subject to educate consultants and the public. In the smart cities program also, the setting up of C&D recycling plants is compulsory. Countries like the Netherlands, Belgium, and Hong Kong are recycling almost 100% of their C&D waste.