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Construction and demolition waste management in Kosovo: a survey of challenges and opportunities on the road to circular economy

Alite, Martin; Abu-Omar, Heba; Agurcia, Maria Teresa; Jácome, Myriam; Kenney, Jolina; Tapia, Andrea; Siebel, Maarten

Managing Construction and demolition waste (CDW) is a severe and growing urban challenge, particularly in post-conflict countries. Though Kosovo has significantly rebuilt and developed after the Liberation War, these initiatives have accompanied suboptimal waste management. This research evaluates CDW management in Kosovo by assessing current practices and operations vis-a-vis the legal framework and EU requirements. It identifies instruments and policies capable of ameliorating gaps and proposes a more sustainable and circular CDW management system for Kosovo. Information was primarily collected during on-site visits to Pristina and the surroundings by a cohort of Urban Management Students from the Technische Universität Berlin, students from Kosovo, and the local office of the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, GIZ. The analysis identified gaps in Kosovo's CDW management and its observance and enforcement of existing CDW legislation, including an ambiguous licensing system impeding sustainable demolition, storage, and transport; the absence of approved CDW storage options leading to uncontrolled disposal; and an underdeveloped market for recycling and reuse, deterring stakeholders from further pursuit of circular practices. These gaps were compounded by poor recordkeeping, obscuring precise information on CDW streams. Possible instruments and incentives to support Kosovo's transition to a more sustainable CDW management system were then identified.
Published in: Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management, 10.1007/s10163-022-01577-5, Springer Nature