EuRIC Visits Renewi and Remondis

On 12 October the European Recycling Industries Federation (EuRIC) paid a working visit to the Netherlands. EuRIC’s Construction and Demolition Branch visited recycling companies Renewi Westpoort in Amsterdam and Remondis in Son en Beugel. The issue at hand was how to make the construction industry circular and how recycling can play its part. The construction industry is responsible for 30% of the waste produced in Europe, so recycling is essential.

Roger Versluis (Southern Netherlands Regional Director at Remondis), Unico van Kooten (DWMA European Representative), Philipp Terasa (Technical Management Assistant at Remondis) and Antoine Stilo (Policy Officer at EuRIC). (Photo: Fotopersbureau Bert
Jansen / Dave Hendriks)

The construction industry accounts for 10% of the total economic added value in the European Union and provides no fewer than 25 million jobs at five million companies. Builders are responsible for about 12% of European greenhouse gas emissions and 30% of European waste, which amounts to 375 million tonnes of construction and demolition waste each year. ‘Our aim for 2030 is 90% recycling of this waste,’ says Unico van Kooten, the Dutch Waste Management Association’s European Representative.


Waste prevention, reuse and recycling
A major factor in making the most efficient use of the available raw materials in Europe will be circular construction, which also reduces the carbon emissions and environmental impact of materials use. A key element is waste prevention and better reuse and recycling of raw materials for use in construction. The Netherlands wants to move towards a fully circular construction economy. To achieve that goal – and in anticipation of European developments – consideration is being given to earlier introduction of new policy. “A mandatory EU standard for minimum recycled content in new construction products will quickly lead to a more mature market,” says Roger Versluis, Southern Region Director at Remondis. “Well-conceived EU market incentives will be essential for improving circularity in the European construction industry,” adds Roland Amoureus, Public Affairs Director at Renewi.

Unico van Kooten Antoine (DWMA European Representative), Antoine Stilo (Policy Officer at EuRIC), Sanne Westra (Policy Officer for Circular Economy and Environment at VNO-NCW and MKB Nederland) and Roland Amoureus (Public Affairs Director at Renewi). (Photo: Persbureau / Cor Salverius)

Recycling essential for circular waste management
Antoine Stilo, Policy Officer at EuRIC: “Today we’ve seen how construction and demolition waste can be effectively recycled if there’s a market for the recycled products. An efficient recycling system in the construction and demolition sector is essential for good circular waste management in every EU member state.” Which is why in June 2023 EuRIC set up a new branch for construction and demolition waste. The DWMA is a member of EuRIC and supports this initiative to boost the recycling of construction and demolition waste. Sanne Westra, Policy Officer for Circular Economy and Environment at the Dutch national employers’ federation VNO-NCW and SME federation MKB Nederland: “The fact that the Dutch recycling sector is arguing for European standards for the use of recycled raw materials in construction products shows that making the construction sector sustainable has a huge potential for reusing raw materials and reducing carbon emissions. European standards would create a level playing field for Dutch companies and accelerate the transition to a circular economy in the whole of Europe.”

Source: Dutch Waste Management Association (The Netherlands, October 13, 2023)