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Minimisation and management strategies for refurbishment and renovation waste in Hong Kong

Ann T.W. Yu (Department of Building and Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, China)
Kelvin S.H. Mok (Department of Building and Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, China)
Irene Wong (Department of Building and Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, China)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 25 October 2021

Issue publication date: 14 March 2023

529

Abstract

Purpose

The capacity of landfills will reach saturation in the 2020s. There are more than 50,000 buildings in Hong Kong over 30 years old and which may require extensive refurbishment under the Mandatory Building Scheme. Additionally, most new owners/tenants tend to renovate their premises before moving in. Hence, there is an urgent need in Hong Kong, to explore strategies and measures to enable the development of effective refurbishment and renovation (R&R) waste management for such projects. The objectives of this paper are to investigate the process of R&R for identifying the perceived barriers and thereby the strategies for minimisation and management of R&R waste in Hong Kong.

Design/methodology/approach

Desktop study, semi-structured interviews, site observations and document reviews were used as the data collection methods to achieve the objectives of this research. Considering the nature and characteristics of the industry structure, the snowball sampling process was deployed for data collection. Thematic analysis and content analysis were used for data analysis. Waste minimisation and management strategies for R&R projects were then discussed and developed by the research team and a focus group meeting was held to validate the research findings. Six strategies were then proposed to the government.

Findings

R&R projects contribute 10–20% of the construction and demolition waste. The barriers to recycling of R&R waste can be grouped into six major categories: (1) lack of sorting and storage spaces, (2) high cost, (3) insufficient government supporting policy, (4) complicated recycling processes, (5) immature recycling market and (6) insufficient public education. Also, six strategies are proposed in this study, which include (1) pre-refurbishment audit, (2) development of recycling market, (3) sea reclamation, (4) incineration, (5) government support and (6) education and research.

Originality/value

The strategies and measures proposed in this research could most adequately serve as reference for the government officials, building professionals and academic researchers. Such knowledge would make possible the development of effective strategies and measures for minimising and managing R&R waste.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was fully supported by the Public Policy Research Funding Scheme of the Policy Innovation and Coordination Office, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Project No. 2018.A6.111.18C).

Citation

Yu, A.T.W., Mok, K.S.H. and Wong, I. (2023), "Minimisation and management strategies for refurbishment and renovation waste in Hong Kong", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 869-888. https://doi.org/10.1108/ECAM-02-2021-0113

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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