Reusing e-waste in civil engineering projects: Lessons learned from implementing circularity

Merima Bašić*, Marc van den Berg, Robin S. de Graaf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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Circular Economy (CE) is a relatively established concept in several industries. However, despite the evident necessity to implement CE, it remains underexplored concerning electronic waste (e-waste) and the construction industry. Therefore, the goal of this paper to develop guidelines for the application of CE principles when processing e-waste within the construction industry. This is a gap in literature and practice. Based on a literature study, a theoretical framework has been developed to analyse barriers to CE. This framework was used to reflect on civil engineering projects. Interviews were conducted about the application of CE principles in the projects of the Velsertunnel, Realisationbureau Intelligent Transport Systems (RITS) and the Eerste Heinenoordtunnel. The data from the projects was compared to the literature to provide an understanding of most influencing factors. Three key lessons can be derived from this research. Firstly, the positive attitude towards CE is not widespread within the client organisation and implementation is dependent on the project team. Secondly, there is a lack of use-data about installations, making it impossible to determine their behaviour and durability. Finally, the transition to CE is not defined clearly, which means that contractors and suppliers are hesitant to adopt circularity, as they are unsure whether their efforts will be rewarded.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2020
EventCROW Infradagen 2020 - Online, Netherlands
Duration: 15 Sept 202024 Sept 2020


ConferenceCROW Infradagen 2020
Internet address


  • Circular economy
  • Civil engineering
  • Construction industry
  • E-waste
  • Reuse


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