Assessment of practices and strategies for waste management of concrete and cementitious materials in South Africa

Mogodi, Moshadi
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In 2017 the construction and demolition sector of South Africa produced approximately 14 million tonnes of waste. This includes concrete and cementitious waste. In South Africa ,there are waste management strategies in place that aim to: (a) discourage high levels of waste disposal on landfills, (b) encourage a decrease in waste production, and (c) guide how to manage the waste produced. However, there is a poor understanding of the link between these strategies and what is being practised on construction sites. This study was conducted in South Africa, Gauteng province, to examine the practices and strategies for waste management of concrete and cementitious material. The assessment was conducted through literature review and visits to five active construction sites where data was collected through oral interviews, observation of site activities and questionnaire distribution to the workers on site. The results of the research demonstrate that practitioners are aware of the traditional waste hierarchy, however, they need to adopt the latest waste hierarchy outlined in the State of Waste Report. This is because they still resort to disposing waste on landfill before exploring all possible options on the waste hierarchy model. The waste management plans developed on construction sites accommodate getting rid of waste material from the site but they do not clearly define how this can be done while avoiding disposal on landfill. The study has also shown that there is inadequate information on waste concrete and cementitious material quantities. Practitioners on site are of the opinion that there is insufficient government intervention with waste management and also lack knowledge on possible incentives offered. Though there is limited information on concrete and cementitious waste material, practitioners do think it is important to have efficient waste management plans in practice. The study recommends that the government outlines policies and legislation that encourage practitioners to record quantities of different types of waste produced on construction sites to improve the data available in South Africa. The policies and strategies should also require Environment, Health and Safety practitioners to submit annual waste reports on their construction projects. More studies should also be conducted in South Africa concerning concrete and cementitious waste, to understand how it is managed and to know how much of it ends up disposed on landfill
A research report submitted to the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of the Witwatersrand, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Engineering, 2020