Habitat for Humanity and the Terwilliger Center, the Seeker for this Challenge, recognize the urgent need for efficient and effective construction and demolition (C&D) waste management as it would lead to impactful social, environmental, and economic benefits.
Worldwide, the construction industry produces a tremendous amount of C&D debris every year, facing Waste Management Challenge with one recent study estimating production of such waste will reach 2.2 billion tons by 2025. India, the country of primary focus for this Challenge, contributes a significant fraction of C&D waste to the worldwide total with the amount expected to grow exponentially over time due to rapid urbanization. The rapidly growing construction sector responsible for this increase in C&D waste production also has a rapidly growing need for building materials and it seems natural to look toward the C&D waste as a potential source for the needed building materials. Although the Government of India published rules in 2016 to address this issue, no significant adoption or progress has been made in the processing and utilization of C&D waste. Habitat for Humanity, supported by SeaFreight Labs, is seeking to address the roadblocks hindering the widespread recycling and use of C&D waste in construction. This Challenge focuses on the first steps of utilizing C&D waste – estimation and segregation of waste material and the initial logistics of waste utilization in the construction supply chain – and the Seeker is soliciting innovative ideas and concepts to address a wide range of topics within these first steps. There exists a huge potential to develop economically viable and revenue generating businesses in recycling of C&D waste for reuse in the construction industry and it is Habitat for Humanity’s hope that the results of this Challenge will help them foster growth and spur interest and innovation in this area, ultimately reducing natural resource use and keeping large volumes of C&D waste from entering the environment.
The construction industry is an important growth driver of India’s economy with a contribution of 8% to India’s GDP and a projected growth rate of 7-8% year-over-year for the next decade. Along with this size and growth comes an ever-increasing need for new building materials as well as tremendous amounts of construction and demolition (C&D) waste. It is estimated that 100 million metric tons per year are produced in India with this amount expected to increase exponentially due to rapid urbanization. This waste comes not only from the demolition of existing structures but also from the renovation or reconstruction of old structures as well as from new construction. It spans infrastructure, industrial, commercial, and residential construction. Unfortunately, the overall management of this waste has neither been effective nor efficient, with a large portion of unsegregated waste finding its way to ad hoc dumping grounds or unauthorized landfills leading to environmental problems. Given the growth in construction and the need for new building materials it seems obvious to turn to recycling of C&D waste as a source of needed materials, and while the Government of India has made efforts in this direction no significant adoption or progress has been made in the utilization of C&D waste in new construction. There are several potential roadblocks standing in the way of this utilization and Habitat for Humanity is seeking, through this Challenge, to gather new ideas, concepts, and solutions to overcome these roadblocks.
Habitat for Humanity and the Terwilliger Center recognize the urgent need for efficient and effective C&D waste management as it would lead to social, environmental, and economic benefits. The improved management of waste would prevent indiscriminate dumping and enhance quality of life in neighborhoods. The inclusion of low-income families into the construction industry would reap benefits of resource efficiency and cost effectiveness through the use of recycled building components. Additionally, the industry would achieve significant sustainability and benefit from a measure of circularity.
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Awards:- There is a guaranteed award. The award(s) will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $15,000, with at least one award being no smaller than $5,000 and no award being smaller than $1,000.