The Cross-regional Mobility of C&D Waste in Australia
Posted: 28 Jun 2019
Date Written: June 28, 2019
Approximately 10 billion tons of C&D waste is generated worldwide on an annual basis. A large amount of C&D waste generated causes a series of environmental issues, such as raw material resource waste, energy consumption, water, and soil pollution and land occupation. Processing the waste also requires input from many financial investments and labour resources.
In previous studies, C&D waste has been viewed from different perspectives, such as products, processes, and systems, but all of these previous studies saw C&D waste as a local-closed issue. This has been due to the nature of C&D waste, which is heavy and has a low unit economic value, thereby making the transport of C&D waste inefficient. However, driven by various factors like financial incentives, C&D waste practices would transport the waste from region to region taking into account the significant cost difference of disposing and recycling waste among the different regions.
The cross-regional mobility of C&D waste would have multiple impacts on both waste-out and waste-in regions. These impacts would affect the environmental, economic and social aspects, as waste mobility directly has a direct effect on the amount of waste needed for treatment. Furthermore, it will affect the investment and resource input in waste treatment facilities. This expansion of the local-closed perspective makes the cross-regional mobility of C&D waste a significant issue that needs to be addressed in the C&D waste discipline.
This study will develop a cross-regional C&D waste material network for Australia by quantifying and tracking the mobility of C&D waste. Firstly, relative C&D waste open access reports (e.g., National reports like National Waste Report (Australia), reports at state level like South Australia’s Waste and Resource Recovery Infrastructure Plan, etc.) have been reviewed to draw a draft C&D waste cross-regional mobility map; Secondly, to further develop the map, the types and volume of C&D waste generated and processed in each state the types and amount of C&D waste treated in other regions will be investigated by conducting interviews.
This study is theoretically innovative as it expands the C&D waste management theory from the local-closed loop to a cross-regional network. Besides, it provides a fundamental framework to understand the impacts and benefits of the cross-regional mobility of C&D waste in Australia.
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