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New resolution by UAE climate change ministry to recycle site waste

Ministerial Resolution allows 40% of material needs to be met through recycled building and demolition aggregates

Building and demolition waste can now be recycled for UAE construction projects.
© Pixabay / Life-Of-Pix
Building and demolition waste can now be recycled for UAE construction projects.

The UAE’s Ministry of Climate Change and Environment has issued a resolution on recycling construction and demolition waste for road and other similar infrastructure projects.

Government and private contracting organisations can use recycled aggregates for 40% of their total building material needs as part of the new resolution.

Ministerial Resolution No. 21 of 2019 permits public- and private-sector projects to use recycled aggregates, and mandates local departments to ensure that contractors are collecting and sorting waste generated at their construction or demolition sites.

Recycled materials, depending on their size, may then be used for activities such as road paving, dirt road grading, and parking area development, as well as earth filling for construction.

All aggregates must comply with UAE standards, and also fulfil Leed and Breeam certification requirements. Environmental pre-requisites for the recycling of waste from materials such as cement, concrete, steel, bricks, gravel, sand, asphalt, timber, and gypsum are specified under the resolution.

A press statement revealed that recycling construction and demolition waste is being encouraged for its ability to facilitate “a smooth transition to the circular economy” and boost waste management efficiencies “while easing the pressure on landfills”.

The statement continued: “[This] also helps improve human health and conserve natural resources through reduced reliance on virgin aggregates.”

Waste optimisation is a growing economy around the world, and in the UAE, recycled materials are already being upcycled for one of the country’s largest ongoing schemes. At the Expo 2020 Dubai construction site, asphalt mix needed to surface 30,000 under-construction car park spaces was reformulated for use. Around one-fifth of the mixture needed to manufacture asphalt for a road – which Al Naboodah Construction is building – came from recycled tyres.

Commenting on the operation in September 2018, Expo 2020 Dubai's senior vice president of real estate and delivery, Ahmed Al Khatib, told Construction Week: “We carried out a series of comprehensive tests on various asphalt mixes to see what works best in the heat and [to determine] how much pressure it can withstand.

“All of the construction guidelines we have here are raising the standards for the whole of Dubai,” he added.

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Construction Week - Issue 759
Feb 22, 2020