Welcome to the webpage of the project LIFE10 ENV/RO/000727 “Recovery of Construction and Demolition Waste in Buzau County”, financed under the LIFE+ Programme of the European Commission – Environment Policy and Governance component. The project runs from 1 October 2011 to 30 June 2014 and is implemented by the Buzau County Council in partnership with S.C. Natura Management S.R.L.

The LIFE Programme is a financial instrument of the European Union aimed at environmental protection. The LIFE+ component – Environment Policy and Governance co-finances best practice projects or demonstration projects with added value which contribute to the implementation, updating and development of environmental policies and legislation of the European Union.

Context and necessity of project implementation

The management of waste arising from construction and demolition activities is not carried out in an efficient way neither at national level, nor at the level of the administrative area targeted by the project (i.e. Buzau County), due to the following:

  • lack of information and concern, regarding environmental protection, of the economic agents operating in the construction field;
  • non-compliance with general legislation in terms of adequate management of waste, the economic agents in the construction field usually claiming to be unacquainted with the regulations related to their activity;
  • lack of policies for the prevention of construction waste generation during the design and execution phases;
  • faulty enforcement of sanctions by the competent bodies, including due to the difficulties encountered in identifying the economic agents that are discarding construction waste in unsuitable places;
  • lack of local or regional unitary, coordinated systems for collection and treatment of construction and demolition waste;
  • lack of a decision-making and methodological system facilitating the direct recovery of construction and demolition waste or of the materials resulting from their treatment.

As of November 2008, the European Union has a new waste directive: Directive 2008/98/CE that includes objectives to be achieved by 2020. The successful implementation of the legislation by all states member shall result in reducing to a minimum the negative effects on human health and the environment of waste production and generation.

The new legislation establishes a waste hierarchy, respectively a sequence of priorities representing the best waste management option from an environmental impact point of view, namely: prevention, reuse, recycling and other recovery operations, and lastly the safe disposal of waste.

Directive 2008/98/CE, applicable to all Member States, establishes clear objectives in terms of waste streams management measures, including waste resulting from construction and demolition activities:

„Article 11- Reuse and recycling

(2) In order to comply with the objectives of this Directive, and move towards a European recycling society with a high level of resource efficiency, Member States shall take the necessary measures designed to achieve the following targets:

[...]

b) by 2020, the preparing for reuse, recycling and other material recovery, including backfilling operations using waste to substitute other materials, of non-hazardous construction and demolition waste excluding naturally occurring material defined in category 17 05 04 in the list of waste shall be increased to a minimum of 70 % by weight.”

Law no. 211 dated 15 November 2011 on waste management, published in the Official Journal no. 837 dated 25 November 2011, transposes Directive 2008/98/CE into the national legislation. The new framework law establishes a set of measures for the environmental and human health protection, by preventing or reducing the adverse effects produced by waste generation and management. Moreover, the Law on waste regime aims to reduce the general effects of the use of resources and to increase the efficiency of their use by applying several measures.

With respect to the construction and demolition waste, the Law on waste regime establishes that the waste producers and the authorities of the local public administration must reach until 2020 a level of preparation for reuse and recycling of minimum 70% by weight of the quantities of non-hazardous waste from construction and demolition activities. Not reaching this target, or the other targets established by the new Waste Directive, will allow the European Commission to take the member states to court.

As a member state of the European Union, Romania must comply with the new policies in the field of waste management, including those on construction and demolition waste, and actively participate in reaching the imposed targets, by implementing coherent, sustainable measures to meet the identified necessities.