Too good to waste: examining circular economy opportunities, barriers, and indicators for sustainable construction and demolition waste management

Hector Martin*, Deeksha Chebrolu, Aaron Chadee, Tara Brooks

*Corresponding author for this work

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There is a significant deficiency in addressing the unique characteristics of construction and demolition waste (C&DW) in the United Kingdom (UK) as it remains the primary contributor to landfills. Circular economy (CE) practices are explored to address this risk and shortfall in waste management practices and comprehend waste reduction strategies for C&DW. Using a Fuzzy Delphi approach, this study maps and assesses the uncertainties associated with identifying indicators and ranked CE adoption barriers to achieve agreement with twelve respondents. Consensus was also achieved for C&DW measurement indicators. Concurrently, eleven separate interviews were conducted to understand CE's effectiveness in improving construction waste management. The results indicated that the most significant barrier was inefficient recycling policies to ensure high-quality recycled materials. The findings underscore that the influence of design, managerial, and legal barriers surpasses that of social, knowledge, and culture. Despite interviews highlighting a focus on recycling, reusing, and reducing raw materials, deeply established tendencies that prioritise linear economic models exist widely, and resource conservation is less considered. This study provides concrete CE implementation strategies for responsible consumption and production, assesses the challenges associated with CE adoption, and offers 25 industry-specific indicators for measuring C&DW CE implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-480
Number of pages21
JournalSustainable Production and Consumption
Early online date12 Jun 2024
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2024


  • Barriers and solutions
  • Circular economy
  • Construction and demolition waste
  • Eco-innovation
  • Indicators
  • Recycling risk
  • Reduce and reuse
  • Responsible consumption and production
  • Sustainability factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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