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Construction & Demolition Waste Management in Mauritius Policy Making

Presented by: Mr Sarvesh Ramdowar Programme: Coordinator: Submission Date: 30th June 2011

Construction & Demolition Waste Management in Mauritius Policy Making

Parallel to rapid urbanization in Mauritius, environmental impacts from construction and demolition (C & D) waste increasingly become a major issue in urban waste management.The study includes the C & D waste management in urban and urbanising countries including the corresponding instruments these countries develop and implement. The findings are expected to assist the decision making process in the formulation of interventions including policies for improving C & D waste management in Mauritius. In this context, my report is based on sustainable development and sustainable construction in the local industry. It describes the overarching implementation approaches for Materials Resource Efficiency (MRE) associated with demolition and construction activities, with a decision-making framework which emphasises the need to reuse, then recycle, with landfill as a last resort.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Construction & Demolition Waste Management in Mauritius Policy Making

1. INTRODUCTION
Currently Mauritius is experiencing a period of development and change in its infrastructure requirements. There is an infrastructure deficit that requires significant investment across all sectors, including transport, waste management, energy, flood defence, water and waste water, and ports and harbours. According to research, there is significant demand for new housing and changing requirements in the commercial sector reflecting transition from a manufacturing industry to services.

Construction & Demolition Waste Management in Mauritius Policy Making WASTE MANAGEMENT IN MAURITIUS The rapid industrialisation and urbanisation during the past decade have led to changing production and consumption patterns that continue to present new demands for natural resources and create new waste streams. It is estimated that solid waste produced in Mauritius is about 380,000 tonnes a year (or 1,200 tonnes per day) and is expected to reach 418,000 tonnes in 2014. Each Mauritian generates around 0.7 kg of solid waste daily and this is expected to rise to 0.9 kg by 2010. The development of an integrated solid waste management strategy is among the priorities identified in the National Environmental Strategies to reduce future costs from environment degradation. The Ministry of Local Government and the Rodrigues Regional Assembly are responsible for solid waste management. Solid waste collection is undertaken by the local authorities in areas under their jurisdiction and disposed of at the Mare Chicose landfill via a network of transfer stations situated at St Martin, Roche Bois, Poudre dOr, La Laura and La Brasserie. Wastes are compacted at the transfer station to reduce their volume before they are transported in larger vehicles to the sole landfill of the country which is at Mare Chicose. The landfill began its operations in November 1997 and has since been accepting waste from all the transfer stations and from the southern region of the island. The transfer stations carry out compaction of waste prior to their transportation to the landfill site. The Mare Chicose landfill, which was originally planned to receive 400 tonnes of waste daily, is now receiving about 1000 tonnes as the Mare DAustralia landfill has not been implemented. Hence, the life span of the disposal site at Mare Chicose has dramatically been reduced from 19 years to 8 years. Green (or garden) waste is estimated to represent a significant share (as high as 60 percent) of collected waste, lending itself very easily to composting. Current practice is for the solid waste to be landfilled, but this solid waste management technique is of limited long-term scope for Mauritius because of scarce land resources. Methane gas produced at landfill is currently partially captured and flared.

Construction & Demolition Waste Management in Mauritius Policy Making

Government spending amounts to nearly Rs 500 million per annum for the collection, transportation and disposal of refuse waste. This amount includes the collection costs of over Rs 300 million per year and about Rs 155 million is incurred yearly for the operation of transfer stations (Rs 75 m) and disposal site at Mare Chicose (Rs 80 m), which are operated by private contractors. In spite of heavy investment, the present disposal system is inadequate. CONSTRUCTION & DEMOLITION WASTE Interest is growing in the use of construction and demolition waste in new buildings, thereby alleviating the environmental problem of disposal. Construction and Demolition Debris (C & D), also known as inert waste, is commonly known as rubble. The construction sector is one of the most important in the economy of any country, but it also has a serious impact on the environment, from the extraction of aggregate and production of cement to the proliferation of rubbish dumps and dust that is harmful for health and the environment. The extraction of aggregates involves shifting huge amounts of soil, especially near rivers, producing changes in these ecosystems. On the other hand, the production of cement is one of the dirtiest industrial processes known, since it produces atmospheric emissions, liquid effluents and solid wastes, many of them dangerous.

Construction & Demolition Waste Management in Mauritius Policy Making MANAGING CONSTRUCTION & DEMOLITION WASTE The generation of C & D debris increases with urban growth. The volume of construction and demolition debris in Europe is between two and three kilograms per capita per day (a rate higher than that of urban waste). Until very recently, this waste was disposed of, almost entirely, in landfills. Given the low price of land-filling, no other more environmentally friendly operation was competitive. However, the high cost of landfill management, the saturation of these areas, as well as the obstacles faced by municipalities in getting approval for new landfills, has made the management of C & D debris of particular interest. C & D debris management now presents a very different picture from country to country. Some countries with low availability of aggregate and advanced environmental policies, such as Holland and Denmark, have adopted specific initiatives aimed at regulating such management, penalizing the disposal of waste that can be reused or recycled. It is estimated that in the Netherlands 60% of C & D debris produced annually is reused in new sustainable buildings. Through the recycling of C & D debris new aggregate is obtained that can be reused and marketed as offering a complete range of building material. With a minimal amount of processing we can get: concrete, quarry run, brick, gravel for gardens, bases and sub-bases for road paving, etc. The reuse of these materials brings not only environmental but also economic benefits. This activity also helps to curb the over-exploitation of natural aggregates and quarries.