Sustainability assessment of Construction and Demolition Waste management applied to an Italian case

Waste Manag. 2021 Jun 1;128:83-98. doi: 10.1016/j.wasman.2021.04.031. Epub 2021 May 8.


Construction and Demolition Waste represents a priority stream for the European Union and has a large potential for closing the material circulation loop in line with the Circular Economy principles. The present study focuses on the socio-economic and environmental implications of the management of such waste in the Campania Region (Italy), with the aim of documenting the benefits of recycling actions and landfill avoidance. By using local primary data, and complementing them with data from literature and datasets, three scenarios have been investigated: i) Status Quo, i.e., a baseline scenario presenting the current management of Construction and Demolition Waste in the Region; ii) a Linear Economy scenario, considering the total flow disposed of in landfill and iii) a Best Practice scenario based on the implementation of selective demolition practices and increased recycling for the production of high-quality recycled aggregates. Special attention has been paid to the land use and socio-economic implications linked to the management of this flow, which are rarely considered. We quantify that, with the implementation of best practices, ca. 18 Mkg CO2 -eq. can be saved annually relative to the Status Quo alongside creating additional 1,000 jobs-eq. and incurring important benefits on land use. The results stress that the potential environmental and social benefits of selective demolition and best practices are significant, but the incurred economic costs may hinder their application and the resulting development of more circular economy actions in the construction sector, highlighting the need for incentives and tools to facilitate this transition.

Keywords: CDW; Land Use; Life Cycle Assessment; Life Cycle Costing; Selective Demolition; Sustainability Assessment.

MeSH terms

  • Construction Industry*
  • Construction Materials
  • Industrial Waste / analysis
  • Italy
  • Recycling
  • Waste Disposal Facilities
  • Waste Management*


  • Industrial Waste