Construction and demolition waste management in China through the 3R principle

Beijia Huang, Xiangyu Wang, Harnwei Kua, Yong Geng, Raimund Bleischwitz, Jingzheng Ren

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

312 Citations (Scopus)


Construction and demolition waste (CDW) accounts for 30% to 40% of the total amount of waste in China. CDW is usually randomly dumped or disposed in landfills and the average recycling rate of CDW in China is only about 5%. Considering there is big challenge in adoption of circular economy in CDW industry in China while related research is still limited, we conduct the CDW management analysis through 3R principle. Existing policies and management situations were investigated and analyzed based on the reduction, reuse and recycle principles. Results reveal that primary barriers of reducing CDW in China include lack of building design standard for reducing CDW, low cost for CDW disposal and inappropriate urban planning. Barriers to reuse CDW include lack of guidance for effective CDW collection and sorting, lack of knowledge and standard for reused CDW, and an under-developed market for reused CDW. As for recycling of CDW, key challenges are identified as ineffective management system, immature recycling technology, under-developed market for recycled CDW products and immature recycling market operation. Proposals to improve the current situation based on 3R principle are also proposed, including designing effective circular economy model, reinforcing the source control of CDW, adopting innovative technologies and market models, and implementing targeted economic incentives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-44
Number of pages9
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • China
  • Circular economy
  • Construction and demolition waste
  • Management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Economics and Econometrics

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