Composition and leaching of construction and demolition waste: Inorganic elements and organic compounds

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Thirty-three samples of construction and demolition waste collected at 11 recycling facilities in Denmark were characterised in terms of total content and leaching of inorganic elements and presence of the persistent organic pollutants PCBs and PAHs. Samples included (i) "clean" (i.e. unmixed) concrete waste, (ii) mixed masonry and concrete, (iii) asphalt and (iv) freshly cast concrete cores; both old and newly generated construction and demolition waste was included. PCBs and PAHs were detected in all samples, generally in non-critical concentrations. Overall, PAHs were comparable to background levels in urban environments. "Old" and "new" concrete samples indicated different PCB congener profiles and the presence of PCB even in new concrete suggested that background levels in raw materials may be an issue. Significant variability in total content of trace elements, even more pronounced for leaching, was observed indicating that the number of analysed samples may be critical in relation to decisions regarding management and utilisation of the materials. Higher leaching of chromium, sulphate and chloride were observed for masonry-containing and partly carbonated samples, indicating that source segregation and management practices may be important. Generally, leaching was in compliance with available leaching limits, except for selenium, and in some cases chromium, sulphate and antimony. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Pages (from-to)302-311
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Construction and demolition waste
  • Elemental composition
  • Leaching
  • PAH
  • PCB
  • Chlorine compounds
  • Chromium
  • Concretes
  • Demolition
  • Masonry materials
  • Organic pollutants
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Concrete samples
  • Elemental compositions
  • Inorganic elements
  • Management practices
  • Persistent organic pollutant (POP)
  • Recycling facilities
  • Urban environments


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