Construction Waste

€1,3 million circular economy project to transform Tunisian construction sector

The EU funded cross-border project will convert construction waste into viable building materials whilst contributing to job growth in the region.

In Tunisia, a € 1,3 million project aimed at transforming construction waste into building materials was launched.

In tandem with France, Italy and Lebanon, this cross-border collaboration will entail the recycling of construction waste as well as the institution of standard recycling practices.

15 million tons of construction waste are produced in Tunisia on an annual basis, according to a recent study documenting sustainable construction waste management practices in the country.

Said study also identified the economic potential of construction and demolition waste as well as its potential uses with regards to the building of sidewalks and the paving of agricultural tracks.

The project (‘Application of Innovation to the Development of the Circular Economy for Sustainable Construction in the Mediterranean’) is the greatest of its kind in the Mediterranean region.

According to Tunisian Minister for Local Affairs and the Environment Chokri Ben Hassan, an environmentally friendly management of construction waste will prevent said waste from accumulating on landfills, reduce the exploitation of quarries as well as serve to protect existing natural resources.

Having kicked off in October 2020, the project’s run time is set at 30 months. Its scope will extend to the building of two production units of recycled rubble from construction and demolition waste in addition to production units of recycled rubble.

Using building waste for road construction is a proven pathway to decreasing expenses. Separation and recovery technology for waste and rubble are well-established and cheap to access, which renders scaling up efforts easy.

Tunisia’s new strategy for the collection, transport and recovery of construction and demolition waste will be instituted in its first stage in 30 municipalities within the country prior to its large-scale adoption in the time period ranging from 2022 to 2024.

The country boasts a series of comprehensive environmental laws, yet the Tunisian government has also been criticised for continuing to assign waste management policies to the National Waste Management Agency (ANGED).

A strike culture that traces its origins back to the Arab Spring has also served to disrupt and destabilize regular waste management services in municipalities.