Waste management and possible directions of utilising digital technologies in the construction context

Samad Sepasgozar, Deirdre Frances Mair, Faham Tahmasebinia, Sara Shirowzhan, Heng Li, Amy Richter, Liming Yang, Shixiong Xu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The rapid urbanisation and infrastructure development projects have increased infinite property regeneration and construction projects in the developed countries. This study aims to examine the current construction waste management literature, including key authors, university networks, and relevant information systems, considering four selected countries, including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This paper uses a set of novel metrics, query-based search, and social network analysis techniques for evaluating a dataset of 2337 papers published in a decade by authors from different countries investigating the topic of recycling and reuse of construction and demolition waste in order to identify prominent researchers, influential universities, collaboration practices, and research trends. The dataset of publications is collected from Scopus and analysed using a set of network analysis techniques and statistical analysis. An additional dataset of keywords was collected from the Twitter pages of engineering firms and other relevant industry organisations to assess any possible connection between industry interests and research trends. In order to present a solid analysis of the current investigations in the field, a scientometric analysis along with a rigor statistical method was adopted to carefully identify trends, detailed sub-topics, and the materials investigated in the literature. A probit regression model for testing differences between countries in recycling practices was utilised in the STATA environment. The findings show a set of network analysis and clusters that can help scholars to set their future studies based on the current advances and limitations identified in the literature. Within the dataset, 42% of publications referred to concrete waste, whilst only 2.2% included glass, 2.5% included brick, 4.3% included steel and none included wood, which shows the most common building materials have not been fully covered in the literature. Only 48 publications, or 7.4% of the dataset, originated from the three selected concrete-focused journals. It was also found that information systems appeared in the database lately; however, there is less discussion in the literature on how the integration of Geographic Information System (GIS), Buidling Information Model (BIM), 3D Printing and geo-spatial data analysis can help waste management in the field of construction. The bibliographic analysis of the selected cases shows that universities in Canada and the US exhibit more evidence of domestic collaboration and industry partnerships than universities in Australia and the UK. Additionally, there is evidence to suggest that publications with at least one industry co-author are more likely to address the issue of regulation. The outcome of this paper enables academics, engineers, and regulators to predict research trends, improve industry collaborations and utilise information systems and assign more research resources to address the identified gaps in the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Article number129095
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2021


  • Construction
  • Landfill
  • Network analysis
  • Probit model
  • Recycling
  • Rubble
  • Waste

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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