BERLIN (dpa-AFX) – The Association of the Waste Management Industry (BDE) has asked Federal Building Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) to clear the way for a nationwide uniform recycling of construction waste. The project threatens to fail because of the minister’s blockade “after many years of intensive consideration”, announced BDE President Peter Kurth on Sunday in Berlin. “That is very regrettable, because in the Federal Council there is an overwhelming cross-party consensus on the shell regulation on dealing with the largest flow of materials in Germany, which is urgently needed,” added Kurth.
The background to the dispute is the question of what type of construction waste can be stored in landfills and what materials can be recycled. So far there are different regulations in each federal state. Measured by weight, a good half of the annual waste in Germany is construction waste. According to a study, 221 million tons of construction site rubble were disposed of in 2017. Only a small part of it is used again as building material.
A planned “Shell Ordinance for Substitute Building Materials and Soil Protection” aims to protect soil and groundwater and to achieve the highest possible recycling rate for building materials. The Federal Council approved it on November 6th. But it can only be decided if the federal government is in agreement. According to a report by the magazine “Spiegel”, Seehofer rejects the project because the Bavarian construction industry fears higher landfill costs.
In a letter to Seehofer dated January 11, which the dpa has received, several business associations appealed to the federal government to pass the ordinance in the version approved by the Federal Council. “For the sake of increased environmental protection, the ordinance will mean that some of the secondary materials used today will have to be dumped in the future. We do not share the fear that this will lead to a dump emergency,” it says. The letter was signed by representatives of the Federal Association of German Industry, the Association of the Chemical Industry and BDE chief Kurth./brd/DP/nas