What are the regulations for waste management at job site in France? 

Why should we be interested in construction waste?

The building sector produces about 46 million tons of waste each year from job site according to the FFB (Fédération Française du Bâtiment), which is about12% of all French waste combined.

The FFB specifies that this colossal figure does not take into account waste from public works, which represents 185 million tons.

One might think that construction waste comes from the demolition of old buildings, but this is not exactly the case. Indeed, if demolition represents 51% of these 46 million tons, renovation shows 36% and new construction 13%.

It is therefore an issue that affects not only demolition professionals, but also craftsmen and builders, who alone generate 49% of the volume of waste.

Recycling and recovery of construction waste - PRAXY

Construction waste, whether inert, non-inert or hazardous (asbestos and others), is at the heart of a large-scale treatment process for several reasons:

The solutions to these ecological, energetic and economic problems are the following:

1. Better networking of the waste recovery network.

2. A legal framework for construction and waste treatment professionals.

3. More successful recycling of construction materials and consumables.

Regulations on the job site wastes

Faced with the problems of the volume of waste from the building and public works sector and the unauthorized dumping of waste, the French government has set up a new regulation on waste at job site. This is the REP (Extended Producer Responsibility), which was voted in 2020 and comes into force in 2023. It should be noted that the REP is placed under the aegis of the so-called AGEC law (law° 2020-105 of February 10, 2020 relating to the fight against waste and the circular economy), the government thus displaying a will, not only to reduce and treat waste, but also to promote the recycling sector.

This regulation for the waste of job site translates into concrete obligations for the owners, the craftsmen and the actors of the waste treatment.

Mention of waste on any quotation

The waste regulations of job site now require the addition of 4 waste statements that must be included on construction, renovation and demolition specifications.

1. An estimate of the volume of waste caused by the work.

2. Details of waste management on job site, types of waste, sorting strategies and disposal methods.

3. The specification of the collection points and outlets selected by the professional for the job site.

4. A breakdown of the costs of transportation, management and treatment of waste.

Note that the professional is required to specify these points on his estimates, but that the individual is responsible for checking and respecting these practices, he is indeed the only one responsible in case of wrongdong of his waste.

To go further, find more information on the regulations related to the construction industry on this page.

waste job site

Traceability of waste

From 2023, the law will also require better traceability of construction waste, through deposit slips. The collection and treatment facilities will have to give a slip to the professionals, specifying :

The professional will have to keep this slip and will be able to present it on request to the owner or in the event of control.

Hazardous waste and POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants) will also be tracked using an exclusively digital Waste Tracking Form. Excavated earth and sediments are also concerned (more than 500m3) until a dedicated database is created.

All this information will be sent to the Ministry of the Environment and included in the National Waste Register.

Waste from job site recycled

Waste revaluation

In addition to traceability, the government has decided to focus on waste recovery and recycling. To do this, it is imperative (but not mandatory for the moment) to sort the :

The other waste must follow a seven-stream sorting plus two additional, directly on the job site. A professional gesture previously advised and made mandatory by the new regulations on waste of job site.

1. Plastics.

2. The wood.

3. Metal.

4. The glass.

5. Paper and cardboard.

6. The plaster.

7. Mineral fractions (rubble, concrete, tiles, etc.).

8. Hazardous waste (except asbestos).

9. Asbestos.

This sorting will make it possible to reach a recovery objective, set by the government at a minimum of 75%. Some major players in the waste treatment of job site, such as PAPREC, are already beyond this objective and aim for 85% recovery.

What are the solutions for the disposal of waste from job site ?

For professionals, waste management at job site does not have to be a headache, as many point out, thinking about waste disposal at job site is an extra step in an already busy schedule.

Thus, a waste management plan of job site is being implemented in France, with the aim of leaving no white zone in the years to come.

Professionals will be able to set up a sorting strategy directly on job site using their preferred storage methods: skip, big bag, van and others. They will then be able to transport this waste to an approved eco-organization, which will be able, if necessary, to offer collection services (paid or free, depending on the coverage of the territory concerned). The law also provides for a collection point within a 10km radius around job site, in order to relieve the craftsmen (or a subsidy in case of an area in the process of being equipped).

In addition, there are specialized companies that can help professionals comply with the new regulations on waste from job site, such as the company EcoDrop awarded by ADEME.

Professionals will also be able to include the price of waste disposal in their estimates, or will be able to benefit from an upstream assumption of responsibility by the material manufacturers.

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