Construction & Demolition Waste


Construction and demolition (C&D) waste encompasses a broad spectrum of materials generated from activities like building, renovating, demolishing structures, maintaining roads and railways, and excavating land. This waste includes excavated materials such as rock and soil, as well as asphalt, bricks, concrete, plasterboard, timber, and vegetation. Additionally, it encompasses hazardous substances such as asbestos and contaminated soil. When properly sorted, C&D waste represents not just discarded materials but a diverse array of recyclable and reusable valuable resources.

Typically, the C&D waste stream focuses on the generation, disposal, and recycling of these materials, although C&D waste can also appear in Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), Commercial and Industrial (C&I) waste streams, or as hazardous waste. Numerous opportunities exist to reclaim value from C&D waste, highlighting its potential for resource recovery and reuse.


Construction and demolition (C&D) activities generate a variety of waste materials. Proper management of these materials is essential for sustainability and environmental protection. Common types of C&D waste and their recycling and re-use potential include:

  • Excavated Rock/Stone – Reuse onsite or processed for aggregate.
  • Concrete and Bricks – Crushed and reuse as aggregate for roads and sub-bases.
  • Asphalt – Recycled for new mixtures, potential for a mix with glass fines.
  • Metals – Steel, Aluminum, and Copper are recovered and sold due to high demand.
  • Timber – Salvaged for landscaping and other uses.
  • Plastics – Previously a low recovery rate, plastic recycling in on the rise.
  • Plasterboard – Challenging to separate but highly recyclable, with takeback available.
  • Asbestos and Contaminated Soil – Hazardous waste requiring specialised disposal.
  • Soil and Sand – re-used in construction and landscaping if uncontaminated.
  • Miscellaneous Materials – such as packaging, glass, and other non-durable goods, often recycled alongside other waste streams.
  • Vegetation – Composted or mulched after site clearing.

Effective management of C&D waste through recycling and re-use can significantly reduce environmental impact and provide economic benefits. The recovery and marketability of these materials depend on local conditions, pricing structures, and technological advancements in recycling processes.


In Australia, the recovery and recycling of Construction & Demolition (C&D) waste face multifaceted challenges. Despite the pressing need for sustainable waste management practices, several obstacles hinder progress on a national scale.

These challenges include the availability of robust infrastructure tailored for C&D waste, regulatory complexities, limited public awareness, and economic viability concerns. Such hurdles not only impede environmental conservation efforts but also exacerbate issues like landfill overflow, resource depletion, and pollution.

However, solutions lie within concerted efforts: from significant investments in infrastructure to policy reforms, public education campaigns, and advancements in recycling technologies. Urgent action is imperative to address these challenges, emphasising collaboration and innovation as key drivers toward a more sustainable future for C&D waste management in Australia.

Information on government policies, stewardship and collaborative waste management practices can be found on the DCCEEW website.


Effective management of C&D waste in Australia requires strategic planning, proper handling and sorting, and specialised equipment.

Our CRS Complete recycling systems offer comprehensive solutions for the management of C&D waste.These flexible systems, available in mobile, semi-mobile, and stationary options, ensure optimal extraction of aggregates and separation of recyclable materials.

The CRS product range features Static/Mobile Trommels, Static/Mobile Picking Stations, Fines Recovery Systems, Air/Density Separators, along with conveyor systems and steel belt feeders.

Waste Initiatives also present the German-engineered Olnova Series of primary shredders, which excel in processing a diverse range of materials, available in tracked, hooklift, and stationary models with diesel or electric engines.

These remote-operated shredders feature reverse shafts and ESD systems for enhanced safety and performance. Optional extras include overbelt magnets, sieve systems for material separation, conveyors, and various waste shafts.

With capacities ranging from 15 to 200 tons per hour (depending on the model and material), these shredders provide versatile solutions for your mobile C&D waste recovery needs.


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Talk to Waste Initiatives today to find out more about our waste & recycling solutions.

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