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Waste effectiveness of the construction industry: Understanding the impediments and requisites for improvements

Ajayi, Saheed O.; Oyedele, Lukumon O.; Bilal, Muhammad; Akinade, Olugbenga O.; Alaka, Hafiz A.; Owolabi, Hakeem; Kadiri, Kabir O.

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Saheed O. Ajayi

Lukumon Oyedele
Professor in Enterprise & Project Management

Muhammad Bilal
Associate Professor - Big Data Application

Olugbenga Akinade
Associate Professor - AR/VR Development with Artificial Intelligence

Hafiz A. Alaka

Hakeem Owolabi
Associate Professor - Project Analytics and Digital Enterprise

Kabir O. Kadiri


© 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Construction industry contributes a large portion of waste to landfill, which in turns results in environmental pollution and CO2 emission. Despite the adoption of several waste management strategies, waste reduction to landfill continues seeming an insurmountable challenge. This paper explores factors impeding the effectiveness of existing waste management strategies, as well as strategies for reducing waste intensiveness of the construction industry. Drawing on series of semi structured focus group discussions with experts from the UK leading construction companies, this paper combines phenomenological approach with a critical review and analysis of extant literatures. Five broad categories of factors and practices are responsible for ineffectiveness of construction and demolition waste management strategies, which subsequently results in waste intensiveness of the industry. These include end of pipe treatment of waste, externality and incompatibility of waste management tools with design tools, atomism of waste management strategies, perceived or unexpected high cost of waste management, and culture of waste behaviour within the industry. To reduce waste intensiveness of the construction industry, the study suggests that six factors are requisites. These are tackling of waste at design stage, whole life waste consideration, compliance of waste management solutions with BIM, cheaper cost of waste management practice, increased stringency of waste management legislation and fiscal policies, and research and enlightenment. The proposed strategies are not only important for achieving low waste construction projects, they are important for reducing waste intensiveness of the construction. Implementation of the suggested measures would drive waste management practices within the construction industry.


Ajayi, S. O., Oyedele, L. O., Bilal, M., Akinade, O. O., Alaka, H. A., Owolabi, H., & Kadiri, K. O. (2015). Waste effectiveness of the construction industry: Understanding the impediments and requisites for improvements. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 102, 101-112.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 1, 2015
Publication Date Aug 11, 2015
Deposit Date Feb 22, 2017
Publicly Available Date Feb 22, 2017
Journal Resources, Conservation and Recycling
Print ISSN 0921-3449
Electronic ISSN 1879-0658
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 102
Pages 101-112
Keywords effective waste management, landfill, BIM, construction waste, reuse and recycling
Public URL
Publisher URL


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