In the spring months, a new exhibition was set up in the lobby of the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning presenting LIFE project ReBirth – Promotion of the recycling of industrial waste and building rubble for the construction industry. The purpose of the three-year project, which ended on December 31, 2014, was to encourage the use of recycled building and industrial waste in construction with various communication, promotion and awareness raising activities. The project, implemented by Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, PKG Šprinzer Mirko s.p., Klaro d.o.o., Mayer McCann d.o.o. and Structum d.o.o., received “Best” LIFE Information project award for 2015.

In Slovenia, construction waste accounts for 2/3 of wild dumps that burden the environment and pose a threat to human health. In order to present to the general public how properly sorted and recovered waste can become building material again, they have prepared a mobile exhibition that can be currently seen at the Ministry. You may be surprised that construction and industrial waste is a quality substitute for natural materials and can even have better properties compared to them.

The technical procedures for the processing of construction and industrial waste are known and verified in practice. We just have to start using them. Therefore, the project promoted their use by various communication activities. Practical demonstrations were carried out for the professional public and local communities, demonstrating:

  • the use of a steel slag as an aggregate in asphalt wearing courses;
  • the recycling and use of construction waste from demolished buildings;
  • cleaning of the illegal dump of construction waste and its treatment;
  • and the road reconstruction by cold in-place recycling.

In the process of the use of construction waste the state plays an important role. With suitable economic instruments can have a significant impact on the production and sale of products that burden less the environment in their life cycle. Therefore the project team organized workshops where they promoted and expanded the importance of green public procurement (GPP), especially in municipalities, as the proportion of municipal roads accounts for more than 70% of all public roads.

Although the project is already completed, the results of the project are still accessible and can be used both by experts and by all other interested parties. Five technical guidelines (in Slovene) have been produced, and videos presenting good practices for recycling and use of construction waste in construction. Representatives of municipalities and utility companies also spoke about concrete cases.

ReBirth has managed to prove that the use of waste as a source of raw product is an opportunity for the development and growth of new environmental products and services.