In Cyprus, the recycling of construction wastes is a critical issue, considering that at the present time large quantities of CDW is illegally managed and is transported and disposed without prior planning or environmental permitting in natural sites. The lack of relevant market, monetary and non-monetary incentives, technical skills and knowledge prohibits the wide implementation of CDW recycling and re-use. At the same time, resource supply or feed material in Cyprus is expected to increase in the near future since the majority of infrastructure which has been constructed the last 50 years is reaching a critical age. These resources will be dramatically increased with a possible settlement of the current political issue and more specifically the return of the uninhabited city of Famagusta, where the vast majority of the existing structures will be demolished, due to prolonged (more than 44 years) exposure to severe environmental conditions (coastal area) with no maintenance. Therefore, it is of primary importance the enhancement of the local knowledge and experience concerning the reuse of waste materials in building industry, in order to ensure the best possible management of the vast quantities of feed materials that will derive from the reconstruction of a whole city. Internationally, the study will add significant knowledge to the limited information pool on the critical aspects of durability of recycled concretes, techniques to improve RAC properties and the implementation of RAC in actual structural applications. Finally, the project will elucidate the economic and environmental benefit of recycling, through a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) and the economic feasibility and commercial sustainability through a technoeconomic analysis.
The project involves one of the biggest governmental organizations, PWD, which is responsible for the preparation and implementation of the government Development Program regarding the construction and maintenance of the infrastructure of the island.
The Department will benefit from prior knowledge of the results, practical involvement, and general association with the proposed work. The intention of PWD is the pilot implementation of the findings of the project and the adoption of a general recycling policy based on these findings, which will lead to a considerable increase in the use of RAC. The adoption of RAC by PWD will contribute to the alleviation of skepticism of end users regarding “green” concrete, encourage other public benefit organizations to use the material and finally, it will “enforce” the major related local industries, which have close collaboration with the Department, to divert their efforts in the production and application of such material, with all possible environmental, social and economic benefits. The project involves also the two of the biggest state and private academic institutions, the University of Cyprus (UCY) and the Frederick University through the participation of Frederick Research Center (FRC), which are responsible for the education of more than 200 Undergraduate and 150 Postgraduate Civil Engineers annually. The publications from the specific project will benefit the industrial and academic partners and will internationally enhance the reputation and standing of both Cyprus research and practice in these fields.
The proposed research will also benefit other organizations within the Civil Engineering industry concerned with new construction projects. This includes consulting engineering firms, construction firms, testing agencies, ready-mixed concrete suppliers, cementitious suppliers and clients. Consulting Engineering firms will be able to offer alternative and environmentally friendly solutions to clients’ needs as with regards to concrete members and will therefore be able to compete better in the local and international market.