A Study On The Impact Of Construction And Demolition Waste Management On
Authored By: Shreya Ann Mathew
Programme: 3rd Year, LL.B.
Semester: 5th Semester
Topic: Environmental Law
Component: Research Paper
Date Of Submission: 01-02-2023
Construction and Demolition (hereinafter, C&D) waste is defined as the solid waste that is brought about from the construction, demolition, renovation, excavation, clearance of buildings and housing. On one hand there is innovation and development through such activities however, on the other hand there is extreme usage of natural resources, increase in flood levels, air and water pollution, landfill depletion, illegal dumping, hazardous waste causing health problems and various other issues that drastically impact the environment. Even natural calamities such as floods and hurricanes create huge amount of C&D waste on the planet. Waste management confers a pressing need to be effectively tackled at the earliest in order to prevent depletion of the environment. In the recent times with the raise of the building and housing industry along with development, huge amount of C&D waste has been generated. Globally, C&D waste are considered to generate around 30% of the total waste existing today. Most often than not the C&D waste is never managed well, disposed of, recycled or reused ultimately impacting the environment at large. Therefore, it is essential for proper C&D waste management by way of segregation, sorting, crushing, recycling and properly disposing of C&D waste.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Environmental effects of C&D waste have grown to become a severe and urgent problem. It poses a risk to the environment, ecological resources, wildlife, and people. The management of waste from construction and demolition is essential for sustainable development of the environment. In order to address the effects of such waste on the environment and offer thorough waste management techniques, the research scholar adopts this research.
Wen-Ling Huang (2022) elucidated by way of a study on the mechanical classification procedure for recycling C&D waste. In his work, he assessed a C&D waste recycling programme in light of institutional, technological, and economic considerations. His focus was mostly on a practicability study for a new mechanical categorization method that has been configured with several unit processes, including disc detection and classification, bar detection, transfer, and detection air classifier.
Juan Antionio et al. (2020) provided by way of a study on the utilisation of recycled waste aggregate from C&D in concrete. Reusing C&D waste from recovered aggregate in concrete production is a clever solution to the problem. The concrete experts have uncovered and indicated the possibility of appropriately managing and using these wastes once more as aggregates in the new concrete in their research.
Shruthi Jain (2021) provided in her book that the use of recycled demolition and building waste for sustainable growth and development was the subject of research in 2021. Solid waste created by construction, renovation, remodelling, repairs, modifications, and demolitions is referred to as C&D waste. C&D waste is regarded as large volume and low risk.
Jakur Yesh (2021) reported on a zero waste C&D method that is sustainable. It is challenging to establish a general solution to the issues with handling C&D waste since the definition of C&D waste is unclear and changes based on the project type and location. His research intends to provide a greater understanding of independent collecting methods C and D, their components, and treatment at the end of their useful lives, as well as an evaluation of waste management with a zero-waste life. The option to alter one's lifestyle and beliefs in order to accomplish the ultimate objective of maintainable improvement over the extinction of waste materials and circulating in closed cycles is provided by having zero waste or no waste.
Kartika Venkatraman (2022) in her article studied the C&D waste management in Banaglore and provided that the handling of C&D waste is a challenge as building construction increases. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has divided C&D waste into three categories: non-hazardous waste, semi-hazardous waste, and hazardous waste.
The lacunas in the above articles and researches is a resultant of what the research scholar would be dealing with in her research paper such as the components of C&D waste, probability of its treatment, judicial pronouncements, impact of C&D waste on the environment, how other countries tackle C&D waste and finally how Bangalore tackles C&D waste.
Construction and demolition waste management is a relatively new topic and hence there are a number of gaps in the literature, the court declarations and the legal framework.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS
The scope of this work is also –
The style of paper used in this research paper is the doctrinal research methodology. It depends upon secondary data as sufficient data was provided including pertinent articles, research studies and journals. While writing this research paper a careful approach was adopted, intending to make the reader clearly understand the meaning of the paper so that this paper links the reader to the researcher.
Citation format: This research paper is cited in accordance with the bluebook 20th edition format.
The research tools used for this research is collecting of qualitative data through observations, analyzing various journals, research material and actual data from official websites.
H0 – That Bengaluru uses efficient management measures in managing C &D waste.
H1 - That Bengaluru does not use efficient management measures in managing C &D waste.
CONTENTS OF C&D WASTE
There are various components that constitute C&D waste. The proper management of C&D waste entails the process of effective and efficient utilisation of resources, recycling and reuse of resources, proper sorting, crushing and disposal of resources. All C&D waste components cannot be considered to be components that can be recycled to be reused however, many main components in the construction industry are components that can be recycled. According to the Central Pollution Control Board in the latest waste management standards provided that there are two categories of contents of C&D waste such as -
With the global catastrophe of environmental issues there has evolved a pressing need for preserving and protecting the environment for the betterment of humankind both in the present and future. According to the Centre for Science and Environment only 1% of the C&D waste is actually recycled. Therefore, Conservation of environmental resources by way of various strategies like deconstruction of material, recycling, reuse of material, legislative and administrative framework is essential for sustainability of the environment for the future. Further, recycling and reuse of C&D waste enables to salvage such material which can be utilised for other use or further constructions. C&D waste management enables reduction in bringing about new materials for construction, it also enables to reduce the amount of waste dumped at landfills, reduces expenses of material, transport etc, reduces the usage of natural resources as materials, reduces pollution in general. Therefore, proper C&D waste management enables to tackle various environment related issues.
PROCESS OF C&D WASTE MANAGEMENT
According to the Environment Ministry there is no uniform process for tackling C&D waste, it was declared that there are different processes to follow for different material or debris. However, as per the general segregation and recycling of waste material, the ministry has brought about a basic method that ought to be followed with regards to the management of C&D waste, which would be showcased through the chart below (Fig. 1).
Fig. 1 Process of C&D waste management.
Furthermore, the report from the UN environment programme on ‘Global Waste Management Outlook’ recognised the C&D waste management plan to be made applicable globally, it recognised that a sound waste management plan ought to be devised in every State firstly by way of estimating quantities of C&D waste equivalent to the waste generation rates. The waste management plan is basically a document that characterises the start – finish of the recycling of the C&D waste. There are certain essentials that a waste management plan ought to mention, all of which can be determined before the job starts in order for a smooth flow of the performance of recycling of C&D waste.
Relatively, large amounts of C&D waste are being produced over the years which ultimately is a huge problem to mankind as it contains serious hazardous material such as asbestos and lead. The main factor to the construction and demolition waste management is that it can be effectively recycled to reduce the impurities just lying in the environment. According to the EPA nearly 90-95% of the C&D waste can be recycled to reduce the infiltration in the environment of such waste. Therefore, treatment of such material is essential moreover as maximum of it can be recycled. Furthermore, these recycled waste materials can be effectively used as material to construct roads and buildings. Other C&D waste material can also be effectively management in the following ways:
Though it is generally established that India recycles only 1% of its C&D waste. The highly developed metropolitan city, Bengaluru has been ranked one of the worst cities for C&D waste management. The Bengaluru C&D waste recycler has declared that there is over 2500 tons of C&D waste generated daily in Bengaluru however, less than 5% of the C&D waste that has been generated in Bengaluru has reached his unit. There are various instances wherein Bengaluru has showcased very dangerous situations due to the lack of proper C&D waste management. In September 2022, the Solid Waste Management Round Table of Bengaluru themselves criticised the C&D waste thrown illegally alongside the Arekere lake even with the notification that no construction can be made 75 meters beside a lake, they recognised over 1000 tons of C&D waste lying alongside the Arekere lake with heavy dust and debris that is leaking towards the lake. The nearest C&D waste processing unit is Kannur plant which can process over 750 tons of C&D waste in a day however, the C&D waste recycler provides that they barely see any recycling done in the unit. This would lead to various issues such as contamination of water, shrinkage of the lake, health related diseases due to the dust, fumes and material disposal. The situation is the same in various other lakes in and around Bengaluru such as the Amruthahalli lake, Iblur lake etc. Convenor of Citizens Agenda for Bengaluru has also expressed the C&D waste due to the construction of metros that pose a serious risk to the environment in Bengaluru. KR Puram is one such hub where such C&D waste is disposed in the open. Moreover, Old Madras Road and mostly all roads wherein the metro has been and is being constructed is a hub for illegal disposal of C&D waste. Furthermore, Bengaluru is recognised for its skyscrapers often illegal causing floods often in Bengaluru. Encroachment by illegal building result in waterlogging and floods. Minimal rains pose a risk to the entire city. The IT corridor and illegal buildings especially in Mahadevapura ward and Yelahanka has been characterised as a primary reason for floods in the city. Moreover, even after such disasters the government has not taken a strict action in this regard but only plays the blame game against the opposition. This has resulted in a loss in the housing of individuals, flooded vehicles and flooded neighbourhoods making it impossible to travel for jobs, schools etc. Moreover, between the year 2020- 2022 the BBMP has declared that for illegal disposal of C&D waste it has collected fines up to Rs. 11 lakhs.
For the purpose of any implementation of an action there ought to be the establishment of a legislation in order maintain it in a systematic and stringent manner. For the purpose of C&D waste management there has been no particular Act that deals with its management however, there is the C&D waste management rules of 2016 which has been established. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had brought about the C&D waste management rules of 2016 in order to prevent pollution and to provide for waste management. The most important feature of the rules is that is does not specify certain persons to which it shall apply but establishes that the rules apply to any person that generators C&D waste. Moreover, the rules specify duties to waste generators - to segregate the material, ensure no depositing of C&D waste and maintain the generators in four streams of concrete, soil, steel and wool. The Contractors- to devise a waste management plan and to ensure proper disposal of C&D waste. the government – to prepare policies, entail sites for C&D waste and ensure proper land disposal to prevent disturbance. pollution control boards – to formulate operational guidelines, monitor the implementation of the rules, submit annual report in this regard. central ministries- facilitating the local bodies for their compliance, review implementation and the recycling facility- ensuring the recycling site situated away from forest and water bodies, ensuring proper processing of material. Furthermore, the Environment (Protection) Act of 1986 has provided that a violation to the C&D waste management rules of 2016 will attract a penalty under the former Act. Moreover, with regards to Bengaluru, by way of the BBMP’s solid waste management by-laws 2020 it provides that for the illegal dumping of such C&D waste a penalty of Rs. 10,000 per ton for a first-time offence and Rs 25,000 per ton for the second and subsequent offences shall be imposed.
Netherlands – This country has been the first country with the highest rate of recycling of such C&D waste, it recycles 90% of its C&D waste. The country by way of the Environment Management Act of 2004 brought about stringent penalty against such improper C&D waste disposal, the Act provides a penalty equivalent to the level of debris that has been dumped illegally and the level of hazardous material that it can be. Over the years the country has built mechanisms to tackle the C&D waste as a whole wherein systems which enables 100% recycling of glass and insulation materials was brought about.
Australia- This country is not far behind from beating Netherlands in tackling the C&D waste management problem. The country recycles nearly 87% of its C&D waste. C&D waste management in Australia in governed by the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011, it applies to import, export, storing and disposal of C&D waste and the Recycling and Waste Reduction Act of 2020 which provides an extremely stringent penalty for non-compliance of its guidelines which extends to imprisonment of 5 years of 300 x the penalty units.
Denmark- this is yet another country that has not failed in tackling the C&D waste management problem. The country recycles nearly 82% of its C&D waste. The country provides for a stringent law in place Building regulations 2018, which provides for a penalty for C&D waste management violations amounting to the level of the material disposed. It also provides for a daily penalty that is also fixed with every day limit if violations.
In the case of Suresh Muttathil v. State of Kerala, it was held that a scientific process to tackle such C&D waste is an urgent need. Further, that the enforcement agencies and the government has failed to ensure proper recycling of C&D waste as accordance to the rules of C&D waste.
In the case of M.C. Mehta vs. Union of India and Ors., the Supreme Court recognized the pollution caused by Construction and Demolition activities and Directed the Pollution Control Boards to monitor the industrial areas especially at night and take stringent action against the industry found non-complying with the emission norms or chimneys with visible smoke.
In the case of Rajeev Suri vs. Delhi Development Authority and Ors. the Supreme Court recommended proper storage and disposal of demolition debris in accordance with Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules 2016 and held that the Pollution control board has to take precautionary measures to identify environmental risks.
The Karnataka High Court took cognizance of the PIL on the illegal constructions and demolitions which has directly caused waterlogging in Bellandur posing serious issues to the people of the city. The Court also recognised that the C&D waste was clogging stormwater drains. It directed the BBMP to take serious action against such injustice and has provides for a grievance redressal cell to comply with such a matter.
In the case of Rajshree v. State of Karnataka, the court declared that C&D waste management is of utmost importance for the purpose of tackling the environmental concerns already existing in the country. The court also directed the BBMP to take strict action against such violators to prevent future such actions which undermines lakes, bridges and the surroundings.
On 22nd December of 2021 the BBMP declared that they have established a clear-cut plan to eradicate C&D waste as a whole in Bangalore and establish proper processing sites within a period of a year and for this BBMP has taken over Rs. 300 cr. to ably carry out the project. However, it has already become November 2022 and the BBMP has failed in challenging these funds for C&D waste management. After the commotion of the floods and disasters that struck Bangalore, the BBMP Special Commissioner had only one thing to say to the 2021 project that ‘it would start soon’.
According to Dr. Ramachandra, Director of the Centre for Ecological Sciences at IIS declared that currently at Bangalore, a study in the year 2020-2021 itself showcases that there have been over 140 incidents of illegal dumping of C&D waste. The Director raised certain concerns as to the lack of C&D waste processing plants and the distance of one’s already existing owning largely to the lack of C&D waste brought for processing and instead lies on the river beds, roads and dump yards. According to him there is only one fully operational C&D waste processing plant and that too it is located in the outskirts of Bangalore, in Chikkajala. He urges that in order to tackle C&D waste the only possible way is to increase the number of processing plants at least one in one ward. Further the Director expressed his dismay on the fact that it is the wetlands that are taking the brunt of the actions of humans, as many lakes also are now treated as dumping zones. The Bellandur catchment showcases that the general amount is 5 TMC of water that is stored but in the current year not even half of the required amount is flowing.
In 2022 BBMP has initiated a project to tackle the C&D waste and all the debris alongside the Mahadevapura area. The initiative was to set up a processing plant with no investment and is possible would be the first ever to do so. However, the plan is still waiting for approval.
C&D waste management is a current prevailing need for tackling the hazards of the environment. For the purpose of sustainable development of the environment for the future C&D waste management is the need of the hour. Further, with the rise of buildings and construction if a proper C&D waste management is not provided it can pose a serious risk to the environment globally.
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