Construction and Demolition Waste (C&DW) represent a considerable mass (1.09 tons a year per capita in Europe in 2011) of which a significant portion is not recovered. The lack of recovery of such materials comes from the heterogeneity of the waste stream that prevents an efficient and cost-effective recycling. In addition, the deposit is scattered throughout the country, which heavily penalizes the economic viability of a fixed installation.

VALDEM is a research project in the framework of cross-border cooperation program Interreg V France-Wallonie-Vlaanderen. This is a 4-years project, with an overall budget of € 3,557,608.84, that started on 1st July 2016 under the leadership and supervision of Centre Terre et Pierre (CTP, independent research centre in Wallonia). The other partners involved are, for Wallonia: INISMA (research centre), the University of Liege (ULiège) and for France: Ecole des Mines de Douai (EDM), ARMINES, Cd2e (Regional Pole of Excellence on ECO activities) and Neo-Eco (SME specialised in Environmental engineering)

The project objective is the development and the promotion of a C&D W treatment process applicable on-site and able to separate different useful fractions on site. The state of the art and further development will be demonstrated, by CTP (Tournai, Belgium) to companies active in the trans-regional area. Manufacturers active in demolition, C&D Waste treatment, building or concrete production sectors, interested by the topic will be integrated into a Technical Committee responsible for the exploitation of results.

This project will also produce consistent flows of materials that can integrate new applications and whose validity has been verified from both scientific, technical (via laboratory analysis and implementation of performance tests), environmental, social and economic points of view through a life cycle analysis. The objective is to demonstrate the transferability of the results to the industrial scale and create opportunities to develop new activities.

The streams obtained will feed into the application development phase. The new materials will then be subject to technical validation tests appropriate for the intended application, ensuring access to markets. The societal validation of the entire process will be confirmed by a life-cycle assessment.

In a geographical area where both the population density and types of frames are similar and where the economic fabric is made of industrial demolition and recovery actors of each side of the border, streamlining the processing of demolition waste goes through a logical circular economy adapted to the territory to develop cost effective treatment processes. Indeed, the development of mobile implantable treatment both in France, Wallonia or Flanders will supply recovering actors of a slope by the wreckers of the other side and back again, turning the border into an opportunity rather than a barrier.