Industrial ecologists recognise the impact of industry upon the environment and develop methods with which to reduce these including the reuse and recycling of materials incorporated into products. Worldwide, the reduction of natural resource consumption has been investigated and applied to various industries, with varying degrees of success. This paper focuses on the construction industry, using thematic analysis to locate world's best practice in respect to construction and demolition waste legislation. It identifies the Netherlands and Denmark as the current leaders in construction and demolition waste management and reports on the results of a policy analysis, which concludes that landfill levies, landfill material bans, material segregation and certification are the main contributors to waste reduction. A meta-analysis of Australian state legislation reveals that these policies are largely absent, rendering the legislation ineffective. A model of legislative best practice is presented that is applicable to the Australian context, which incorporates the concept of designing for disassembly, a technique that already exists in other manufacturing industries. The paper concludes that by implementing these policies there is a potential to decrease waste through reuse and recycling within the building industry.
International Conference on Whole Life Urban Sustainability and its Assessment. SUE-MoT Conference 2007 (Glasgow, Scotland 27-29 June, 2007) p. 419-439