Assessing the Environmental Impact of Construction Aggregates In North East, England
The recycling of construction and demolition waste has been recognized as a reliable approach to reducing waste and minimizing the environmental impact of the extraction and production of natural aggregates. Nevertheless, the accrued environmental advantage of this approach is reliant on the competitiveness of the recycled concrete aggregates in the construction aggregate market considering the cost of the aggregates and transport cost. The most convenient management approaches for economic benefits and environmental sustainability vary locally. The study combines Material Flow Analysis (MFA), transport network analysis, and market mechanism in developing locally based inventory required in evaluating the environmental impacts of construction aggregates in the territory using LCA. The territory understudied is the North East region of England. Material Flow Analysis presents the accumulation of construction aggregates in the territory and the influence of territorial CDW management. The transport network analysis involved the use of geospatial tools in capturing the proximity between aggregates producing facilities and points of consumption. The localized market mechanism investigates the influence of material and transportation costs on the consumer’s decision procedure. The principal findings of the study are the production and consumption rate of construction aggregates in the region and the market share of recycled aggregates, rate of recycling and compliance to waste management regulations, the influence of proximity on the choice of aggregates supplier, and CDW management options. The environmental impact of the construction aggregate supply system in the territory was also assessed. These findings are vital in the development of strategic localized policies on natural resources exploration and waste recycling towards achieving environmental sustainability and economic benefits. The analyzed results are essential towards the development of LCI required for the design of current and potential scenarios in LCA studies on CDW management. This framework will be a useful guide to sustainable and eco-friendly decision-making in the construction aggregate market in the UK.
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