Estimating and calibrating the amount of building-related construction and demolition waste in urban China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-24
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Construction Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2017


One side effect of the unprecedented urbanization in China is the large amount of building-related construction and demolition (C&D) waste generated during the process. It is an enigma why such statistics as C&D waste generation are absent from the literature in spite of their importance to devising sensible interventions to deal with the C&D waste-related problems. This paper aims to estimate the amount of C&D waste at the country level. It does so by adopting a methodology utilizing national statistical data and the average amounts of waste generated at work sites. Furthermore, the estimation undergoes a thorough calibration against various independent sources before it can be accepted confidently. It is finally estimated that approximately 1.13 billion tons of C&D materials were generated in China during 2014, which has declined from a plateau of building activities and C&D waste generation in the early 2010s. The paper provides some useful references for devising appropriate C&D waste reduction, reuse, or recycling strategies. The paper also offers useful commentary on methodology to estimate C&D waste generation at an urban level, particularly in situations where data availability is erratic.

Research Area(s)

  • calibration, China, construction and demolition waste, estimation, urbanization, waste management

Citation Format(s)