German construction sector meets waste target

First report on 1996 voluntary agreement shows better than expected recovery performance

A first review of a 1996 voluntary agreement between the Germany government and construction firms has shown that the industry is recovering much more waste than it realised.

The German environment ministry said on Monday that 70% of waste arising in 1996 had been recovered. Industry estimates used to set a baseline for the deal had suggested recovery was under 40%. As a result, the figures show, the industry exceeded in 1996 already a commitment in the agreement to halve the quantity of waste it dumped in landfills by 2005.

According to the monitoring report, 83m tonnes of construction and demolition wastes were generated in Germany in 1996, of which 58m tonnes were recovered. This means that only 25m tonnes were disposed of, which is less than half the 54m tonnes assumed to be going to landfill annually when the agreement was signed.

Environment minister Jürgen Trittin said that he hoped recycling levels could be kept at a high level after this "promising start" and called on the industry to reduce total waste arisings.

Follow Up:
German environment ministry (http://{www}.{bmu}.{de/fset800}.{htm}), tel: +49 30 28550 and {press release}, German construction industry federation, e-mail: bau@zdb.de

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