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Journal of Cleaner Production 39 (2013) 1e8

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A SWOT analysis of successful construction waste management

Hongping Yuan
School of Economics and Management, Southwest Jiaotong University, Jin Niu District, Chengdu, Sichuan 610031, China

a r t i c l e i n f o
Article history: Received 27 July 2011 Received in revised form 6 August 2012 Accepted 15 August 2012 Available online 31 August 2012 Keywords: SWOT analysis Construction waste management Strategy China

a b s t r a c t
Recent years have witnessed a signicant amount of construction waste as a result of rapid urbanization and large scale of construction activities in China. However, compared to many advanced western countries, very few studies have been carried out for investigating the construction waste management problems in China. This study, by conducting a strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat (SWOT) analysis, aims to help understand the status quo of construction waste management based on the particular context of Shenzhen city in south China. Data supporting the analysis are derived from multiple channels including governmental reports, waste management related regulations, literature review, and focus group meetings. The study opens a window through which major stakeholders involved can perceive the internal and external conditions of construction waste management in Shenzhen. The seven critical strategies, which are presented based on the SWOTs identied, could be useful for Shenzhen to develop and promote its future construction waste management at the strategic level. 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction Construction waste has nowadays become a grievous problem in China due to the signicant amount of construction activities on one hand and the poor construction waste management (CWM) on the other. While pursuing and maintaining a high speed of economy development, infrastructure and building construction has been playing an essential role in the Chinese arena. Particularly, in 2008, China proposed an investment plan for coping with the economic problems caused by the World Financial Crisis of 2008. In line with the program, a total amount of 4000 billion CNY (1 US$ 6.3 CNY) was launched to stimulate the development of national economy from 2008 to 2010. In the investment, around 2500 billion CNY (accounting for 62.5%) was used for implementing construction projects, typically including development of infrastructure, railway, highway and road, airport, hydraulic engineering projects, and post-disaster rehabilitation for Wenchuan earthquake. Undoubtedly, the implementation of these projects leads to a large volume of construction waste generated throughout the country. Nevertheless, practices of CWM and application of low-waste construction technologies in the Chinese construction sector are still at a lower level compared to those of some advanced countries, such as USA, UK and Australia (Lu and Yuan, 2010). The poor

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management of construction waste in China can be attributable to various aspects. For example, there is a lack of precise and detailed CWM related regulations that contractors can actually follow. Consideration for environmental management issues including CWM is not a priority when undertaking construction projects. Industry stakeholders generally lack awareness about construction waste minimization or environmental protection. Most of Chinese construction projects do not have detailed waste management plans at the project level. Construction waste generated on-site is by and large poorly managed. Furthermore, the local government does not launch long-run schemes with respect to construction waste disposal especially for landll planning and construction (Lu and Yuan, 2010; Wang et al., 2011). All these problems demonstrate a pressing appeal for the need to ameliorate current CWM practices in order to minimize construction waste in China. During the last decade, construction waste issues in China have attracted signicant attention from researchers, thus resulting in a number of research outcomes published in various academic journals. These outcomes witnessed clearly an increasing concern about construction waste problems demonstrated by the academic community. Nonetheless, it seems that the government and the majority of industry stakeholders paid relatively less attention to these problems. Meanwhile, although existing literature covers a wide range of topics in relation to CWM, such as measures for reducing construction waste, on-site construction waste sorting, construction waste recycling and disposal, forecasting regional construction waste generation through development of various

H. Yuan / Journal of Cleaner Production 39 (2013) 1e8

quantitative models (Wang et al., 2011; Hao et al., 2007; Formoso et al., 2002), there is limited research that can be used to assist in strategically planning CWM in a given region. Generally, strategic analysis and planning of CWM at the regional level can contribute to CWM practices of a particular region in three major dimensions. Firstly, it allows the government and industry stakeholders to further their understanding of current CWM situation in the region under study. Secondly, it enables the identication of main problems that are faced by the construction industry, based on which effective measures can be presented for improvements. Finally, the analytic results can be useful information to guide the development of CWM in the region in both the short- and long-run. Therefore, this study aims at analyzing CWM at the regional level in China. A SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat) analysis approach is employed to achieve the purpose. The analysis is based on an empirical investigation of CWM in Shenzhen city of south China. The remainder of the paper is organized as follows: Section 2 is an introduction of the research methodology adopted; Section 3 is a thorough SWOT analysis of CWM in Shenzhen; Section 4 is a framework incorporating seven critical strategies that can be used to help address the CWM problems in the region; and nally we draw the main conclusions. 2. Research methodology The key tool used for strategically planning CWM in Shenzhen is a SWOT analysis approach, which originates from the business management discipline and has been widely applied to a broad array of disciplines. For example, by using the method, Halla (2007) conducted a strategic urban development planning based on the case of Dar es Salaam city in Tanzania and concluded that the method is stronger than the procedural or master-planning approach in planning cities. Recently, a SWOT analysis on environmental management in Greek mining and mineral industry was carried out by Nikolaou and Evangelinos (2010); the authors claimed that the results could facilitate improved environmental performance. In the discipline of waste management, an investigation on formulating strategic action plans for municipal solid waste management in Lucknow was performed; the study adopted a research method of integrating stakeholder analysis into SWOT analysis and presented a set of concrete strategic action plans for both the community and municipal corporation to improve solid waste management in that region (Srivastava et al., 2005). It is evidently demonstrated by those studies that the SWOT analysis approach is a better tool for investigating problems from a strategic perspective. Thus it is adopted in the present study to strategically analyze CWM in Shenzhen. The research methodology used consists mainly of four parts, which is shown in Fig. 1. In the rst part, the latest status quo of CWM in Shenzhen is introduced in detail by referring to information collected from two sources: one is a thorough search and examination of related government reports, CWM related regulations and studies; the other is through consulting the government department staff that are responsible for construction waste planning and management. Next, a group of research questions are formulated aiming at diagnosing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of CWM in Shenzhen. In the third part, a detailed SWOT analysis is performed based on the research questions developed. Answers to those questions are abstracted through analyzing information obtained from a series of focus group meetings with major stakeholders concerned, which mainly include government department staff, project developers, contractors, on-site managers and engineers, and construction waste contractors. The surveyed government staff are from the

Fig. 1. Research methodology.

Shenzhen Housing and Construction Bureau and responsible for construction waste management in the region. Other stakeholders surveyed have been involved in various construction projects and CWM activities in the past years, and thus they are knowledgeable about the CWM practices in Shenzhen. Four focus group meetings are carried out in 2011 and 2012, and each lasts 40e50 min. The main justication for involving the above stakeholders in the focus group meeting is that they have a relatively in-depth understanding of the CWM practices in Shenzhen. Although other stakeholders opinions (such as workers) might be useful in understanding construction waste problems, their viewpoints largely focus on CWM issues at the project level instead of the regional level. Given that the major aim of this study is to investigate Shenzhens CWM practices from a strategic perspective, CWM issues at the regional level should be the focal point. At last, based on the SWOTs identied, recommendations for improving the CWM situation in Shenzhen are presented in line with the principle of maximizing strengths and opportunities, transforming weaknesses to strengths, and minimizing threats. 3. SWOT analysis of CWM in Shenzhen 3.1. Situation of CWM in Shenzhen Shenzhen is a coastal city located in southern China adjacent to Hong Kong. It was established as a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in 1980 under Chinas open door policy. For many years before China ofcially adopted a market economy, Shenzhen was the experimental zone for Chinas serial economic reforms. During the past two decades, Shenzhens economy has developed rapidly transforming itself from a small shing village into a modern 1952 km2 city with a population of around 8.46 million. In 2008, Shenzhens Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was about 780.65 billion CNY with the value of the construction sector accounting for 19.75 billion CNY or 2.5% of that value (NBS, 2009). It was also reported in the statistics that the completed oor space of residential buildings, ofce buildings, commercial buildings and industrial buildings in 2008 was 22.10 billion m2, 2.02 billion m2, 3.46 billion m2 and 5.18 billion m2, respectively (NBS, 2009). The large-scale construction activities that occurred in Shenzhen have produced an overwhelming amount of construction waste.

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According to the Shenzhen Environmental Protection Department, the total volume of construction waste generated from building projects in 2005 was approximately 6 million tons, which is an average of about 17,000 tons per day (Li, 2006). According to an extensive site survey of building construction, renovation and demolition projects throughout Shenzhen, it is estimated by the Shenzhen Housing and Construction Bureau that the proportion of waste generated from new construction projects, waste from old building demolition and waste generation due to building renovation is 43.6%, 46% and 10.4%, respectively. It is also found that the major components of construction waste include concrete (slightly above 60%), mortar (14e16%), brick (8e11%), metal (approximate 5%) and other mixed construction materials (SHCB, 2011). At present, the main means for disposing of construction waste in Shenzhen is landlling. Otherwise, the generated construction waste would be dumped at some unauthorized areas, which would burden the environment and society a lot. Moreover, the major concern in construction projects has been given to some traditional project objectives such as cost, quality, duration, safety rather than environment. There is therefore a big room for improving its current CWM practice. Similar to CWM practices in other regions, various stakeholders are involved in the entire process of CWM in Shenzhen. The stakeholders can be generally categorized into two groupings. One grouping is mostly prot-oriented, mainly comprising project developers, contractors, on-site managers and engineers, workers and waste contractors, while the other grouping concerns much more about the adverse impacts causing by construction waste, which mainly encompasses related government department staff, the general public, and related NGOs (Yuan and Shen, 2011). Since the CWM in Shenzhen is almost at a relatively low level, it is difcult to prot from managing construction waste at this point. This leads to a fact that most prot-oriented stakeholders are reluctant to manage construction waste. At present, promotion of CWM in Shenzhen merely relies on the governments efforts. Although the awareness of the local government about CWM has been increasing these years, the awareness of industry stakeholders and the general public is still low. 3.2. Formulation of research questions The main research questions developed for performing the focus group meeting are presented and explained below. Q1: What are the strengths of Shenzhen when implementing CWM? The rst question is concerned with identifying major strengths of Shenzhen in implementing CWM. Specically, the participants might be asked questions like:  What are the advantages when Shenzhen wants to promote construction waste minimization and management?  What are the factors enabling Shenzhen to be a strong competitor in managing construction waste? Q2: What are the weaknesses when Shenzhen performs CWM? This question aims to identify the weaknesses that Shenzhen might have in developing CWM. During the focus group meeting, the participants were requested to express their opinions on questions such as:     What could be improved when promoting CWM? What is not done properly when implementing CWM? What obstacles prevent the promotion of CWM in Shenzhen? Which aspects as to CWM need to be strengthened?

This question is intended to acquire information about what opportunities Shenzhen might externally face in the future when developing CWM. The question can be further explained by some questions listed as follows:  What chances that Shenzhen can take advantage of to promote CWM would occur?  What benets would occur to facilitate an improved CWM in Shenzhen? Q4: What are the threats that Shenzhen might face when developing CWM? This question examines the threats that would prevent Shenzhen from improving its CWM situation. Similar questions include:  What are the external obstacles that Shenzhen might face when developing CWM?  Are the supporting facilities for an improved CWM situation available? 3.3. SWOT analysis of CWM in Shenzhen SWOT analysis of CWM helps further the understanding about both the external and internal conditions that Shenzhen would face when developing CWM. Particularly, the internal conditions are related to the strengths and weaknesses and the external conditions refer to the opportunities and threats. A blow-by-blow account of these SWOTs (see Table 1) identied from results of the focus group meeting is provided below. 3.3.1. Strengths S1: geographic location. As previously mentioned, Shenzhen is located in south China and adjacent to Hong Kong. In terms of managing construction waste, the Hong Kong government has realized the pressing need of preventing construction waste since the 1980s and thus implemented a series of regulations for minimizing the waste generated. Over the last two decades, the amount of construction waste produced in Hong Kong has been reduced signicantly, from 8450 tons per day in 1990e3121 tons per day in 2009 (HKEPD, 2009, 1997). This is largely due to the increasing effectiveness of CWM related regulations implemented in Hong Kong for dealing with construction waste problems. In the process of practicing those regulations, the Hong Kong government has gained and accumulated lots of practical experience in how to manage construction waste effectively.

Table 1 Results of SWOT analysis on CWM in Shenzhen. Internal conditions Strengths  S1: geographic location;  S2: strong awareness of the local government about promoting CWM;  S3: a leading role in promulgating CWM related regulations in China. Weaknesses  W1: incomplete CWM related regulations;  W2: low percentage of on-site waste sorting;  W3: poor construction waste reduction;  W4: lack of systemic planning of construction waste recycling facilities. External conditions Opportunities  O1: special status as a SEZ;  O2: appeal for reducing construction waste in the country;  O3: extensive supports from government and industry associations. Threats  T1: limited landlls for receiving construction waste;  T2: low charge for landlling construction waste;  T3: immature market for construction waste recycling;  T4: insufcient funds for supporting CWM research.

Q3: What are the opportunities that Shenzhen can exploit to develop CWM?

H. Yuan / Journal of Cleaner Production 39 (2013) 1e8 Table 2 CWM related regulations in Shenzhen. Year 1993 Regulations Measures for Environment and Sanitation Management in Shenzhen Contents regarding CWM According to the measures, it is not allowed to stack up construction materials and build temporary structures in public areas, unless it is authorized in advance by relevant government departments. Measures for Clay Waste Management in Shenzhen

Nevertheless, Shenzhen is lagging far behind compared to the CWM situation in Hong Kong. Both the government and companies in Shenzhen lack necessary experience in minimizing and recycling construction waste. Considering the favorable geographic location of Shenzhen and extensive exchanges between the two cities in economic and social activities, the surveyed government department staff believed that it would be better for Shenzhen to directly learn well-rounded waste management experience from Hong Kong. On this ground, the geographic location of Shenzhen is an obvious strength for its CWM development. S2: strong awareness of the local authority about promoting CWM. Since 2007, the Shenzhen government has realized the pressing exigencies to minimize construction waste throughout the city. To this end, numerous efforts from the Shenzhen Housing and Construction Bureau were made toward three major aspects:  The rst endeavor is launching a series of pilot programs for recycling construction waste. For example, the stone waste generated on many construction sites was recycled to produce inlled walls. Further, the government also launched a pilot program of green construction which aimed at sorting, reusing and recycling material waste typically including concrete, bricks, timber and metal.  Since 2007, a signicant amount of funds has been invested into CWM related research. The research covers a wide range of topics including application of recycled materials from construction waste, management guidelines for construction waste minimization in Shenzhen, and the strategic planning of landlls for clay waste in Shenzhen (2010e2030).  Recently, many management measures have been adopted by the government to promote adoption of low-waste construction technologies and materials in Shenzhen. Typical measures include application of plastic formwork and adoption of construction technology of fair-faced concrete structure. Furthermore, in the government invested building projects, the decoration should be strictly supervised to prevent construction waste generation. Besides, in the interviewers, the project owners, contractors and construction waste contractors argued that CWM has been becoming more and more important in implementing construction projects in recent years. For instance, one interviewed construction waste contractor told us that the Shenzhen government plans to launch a construction waste disposal charging scheme, which is used to impose a levy on landlling construction waste in Shenzhen. It is therefore evident that the Shenzhen government is aware of the importance of managing construction waste. S3: a leading role in promulgating CWM related regulations in China. Compared to other cities in China, Shenzhen has been playing a leading role in promulgating regulations for construction waste minimization since the late 1990s. A summary of the key CWM related regulations in Shenzhen is tabulated in Table 2. 3.3.2. Weaknesses W1: incomplete CWM related regulations. As previously presented, Shenzhen has been playing a leading role in promulgating CWM related regulations in China. But when compared with some advanced western economies, it is found that the current regulatory system of CWM should be further enhanced and improved to support of its future CWM development. Shortcomings of the present regulatory system mainly lie in two aspects: one is the regulations are incomplete; the other is that most of the existing regulations are difcult to follow in practice.

1998, This

revised in 2004


It is




regulation involves some rules of managing construction waste generated from new structures, renovation and decoration. revised in 2004 Regulations on Environment and Sanitation Management in Shenzhen regulated that contractors should be solely responsible for the sanitation management of construction sites. Regulations on Environmental According to the regulations, Protection of Construction development of construction Projects in Shenzhen projects should base on a principle of minimizing construction waste and encouraging the publics participation; construction projects should be planned, designed and constructed in line with the principle of circle economy. It is also regulated that the environmental protection department is responsible for supervising environmental protection in construction projects. Regulations on Construction It is determined that construction Waste Reduction and Recycling in projects in Shenzhen should Shenzhen manage construction waste in line with the principle of reduction, reuse and recycling. The regulations also contain a set of measures for waste management, such as provision of nancial aid and proposal of a waste charging scheme. It is the rst CWM related regulation in China at the regional level. Standard for Construction Waste It is developed based on the Management in Shenzhen Regulations on Construction Waste Reduction and Recycling in Shenzhen. The standard mainly aims at benchmarking the waste generation rate of various construction projects in Shenzhen.

Most of the interviewees agreed that comprehensive regulations could form a concrete basis for implementing CWM. Nonetheless, according to the CWM regulatory system in Shenzhen, many problems are still awaiting to be addressed. Typically, the project owners and contractors expressed their concern about how the local authority will support CWM continuously in the future. They also stated that currently the responsibility allocation between different government departments involved is fuzzy, which is a signicant barrier to better CWM. Besides, what are the government regulations to support sustained development of construction waste reduction and recycling in Shenzhen is not clear.

H. Yuan / Journal of Cleaner Production 39 (2013) 1e8

On the other hand, most of the CWM regulations in Shenzhen are difcult to follow. Interviewed government department staff admitted that at present, most of the regulations merely govern construction waste issues from a very general perspective, instead of placing the principal focus on dealing with specic problems that need to be solved in practice. As a consequence, there are almost no laws to abide by when it comes to questions such as how to regulate illegal construction waste dumping behavior. This eventually results in a lot of difculties in the execution of CWM in Shenzhen. W2: low percentage of on-site waste sorting. The interviewed project contractors presented that currently, most of the construction waste generated in Shenzhen was mixed, without being separated or sorted at source. This has eventually led to a lower efciency of reusing and recycling construction waste, as well as increased costs for construction companies to reuse and recycle the waste produced. Most of the interviewees believed that if the generated construction waste can be sorted on-site and then transported out of construction sites by type, the proportion of construction waste reuse and recycling would be increased to a certain extent. W3: poor construction waste reduction. Among the 3R strategies (reduction, reuse and recycling) for CWM, waste reduction is the optimal management measure due to its lowest adverse impacts on environment. It is therefore regarded as the rst priority when developing CWM plans. However, the overall level of construction waste reduction in Shenzhen is low mainly due to two reasons: one is raised by the interviewed contractors that at the project design stage, most of architects are not aware of the importance of construction waste reduction, which results in signicant design changes in subsequent construction processes; the other is at the construction stage, a large amount of construction waste can be produced because of lack of waste management plans or use of ineffective waste management approaches, which is presented by on-site managers and engineers. W4: lack of systematic planning of waste recycling facilities. The construction waste contractors told us that existing construction waste recycling facilities in Shenzhen are mainly distributed in a disordered way throughout the region. This not only causes inconvenience of transporting construction waste from construction sites to designated recycling facilities, but also results in increased costs of construction waste transportation and recycling. Therefore, a systematic planning of waste recycling facilities should thoroughly consider the construction activities throughout the region and meanwhile optimize the overall distribution of waste recycling facilities based on transportation distances from construction sites to the recycling facilities. Many interviewees agreed that long transportation distance would to a large extent increase transportation costs and eventually decrease the willingness of contractors to send construction waste to the recycling facilities. 3.3.3. Opportunities O1: special status as a SEZ. In line with the Reform Development Planning of the Pearl River Delta Region (2008e2020), the strategic development of Shenzhen will be mainly focused on two facets: one is to continue acting as an experimental zone for national reforms in economy, society and environment; the other is to build itself up into an international metropolis (CGC, 2011). To fulll the mission, Shenzhen should on one hand keep on its role as a SEZ, indicating that it needs to lead a series of experimental reforms in respect of the economic, social and environmental

development. Once the reforms were proved to be effective and successful, they will be generalized to other regions in China. On the other hand, building itself up into an international metropolis means that Shenzhen would have reached an advanced level in construction management and environmental conservation by the end of 2020. Since CWM is one of the critical indicators for evaluating the effectiveness of environmental conservation, how to develop CWM in Shenzhen effectively becomes a strategic task of the government in the next decade. In line with viewpoints of interviewed government department staff, the special status of Shenzhen as a SEZ generally benets the development of CWM in two ways. Firstly, the SEZ status endues Shenzhen with special rights, with which it can promulgate regulations freely without being authorized and veried in advance by the Chinese central government. This largely shortens the total time span of enacting a particular regulation and as a consequence increases the overall efciency. Secondly, by embracing the Reform Development Planning of the Pearl River Delta Region (2008e 2020), there is a good opportunity for Shenzhen to develop and issue regulations in order to improve its present CWM situation. O2: appeal for reducing construction waste in China. According to the 12th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development (2011e2015), China has to reduce the energy consumption per unit of GDP by 16%, and reduce the CO2 emission per unit of GDP by 17% (CGC, 2011). To fulll the macro goal, all sectors including the construction industry have to contribute to the mission of waste minimization by embracing sustainable development practices. Therefore, there is an urgent appeal at the national level asking for environmental protection and waste minimization. The effects of environmental protection and waste minimization during the period of 2011 and 2015, which can be measured by the above two indicators (i.e. the energy consumption per unit of GDP and the CO2 emission per unit of GDP), will be used to benchmark the governments achievement at the regional level. The staff from the Shenzhen Housing and Construction Bureau believed that strong appeal for waste minimization can be a good chance for Shenzhen to promote its CWM, as it is easier for them to seek supports of other government departments. O3: external supports from the government and industry associations. The interviewed government department staff introduced that at present, construction waste management problems have attracted wide attention from the Shenzhen government and related industry associations, which lays a concrete foundation for its further development. For example, the Vice Mayor of Shenzhen has led many on-site surveys on CWM since 2007. During the surveys, topics mainly including the progress of landll construction, development of construction waste recycling facilities, and the supporting funds and measures for CWM, were thoroughly investigated and discussed. Furthermore, the Shenzhen Housing and Construction Bureau has also made continuous efforts to raise the publics awareness about CWM, such as releasing ofcial reports on the latest situation of CWM in the region through public media and brochures. In this regard, the efforts from the Shenzhen government and industry associations provide strong supports to the development of CWM. 3.3.4. Threats T1: limited landlls for receiving construction waste. In recent years, the amount of annual construction waste generation in Shenzhen has been increasing sharply due to the rapid speed of urbanization and large scale of rail transportation construction. There are presently three strategic landlls for receiving construction waste throughout the region, namely, Tang Lang

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Mountain landll, Xi Xiang landll, and Central City landll. The prole of the landlls is tabulated in Table 3 below. It can be seen clearly that since the end of 2010, all the three landlls in Shenzhen have been full, indicating that there is no facilities available for receiving construction waste after 2010. However, some government department staff mentioned that the planning and construction of new strategic landlls are lagging far behind. For example, there were ten construction waste landlls that had been planned during the 11th Five-Year period (2006e 2010), but only one landll was successfully built, while the others failed due to various land requisition problems. Therefore, the limited landlls in Shenzhen will be a major obstacle to its CWM. T2: low charge for landlling construction waste. Currently Shenzhen implements a construction waste landll charge of 6 CNY per ton, which is much lower compared to 90 US$ per ton in the US and 125 HKD per ton in Hong Kong (Hao et al., 2007; Mills et al., 1999). Under the present waste landll charging scheme, most of developers and contractors in Shenzhen will not be charged at high costs even though they dump the generated construction waste directly at landlls without being separated at source. Thus, the present waste landll charge cannot function as an economic vehicle to encourage them to actively perform construction waste reduction. According to ndings from the focus group meeting, the interviewed government department staff and project contractors admitted that the relatively low construction waste landlling charge did not play a big role in preventing construction waste in Shenzhen. Also, the government is considering revising the construction waste landll charge based on outcomes of extensive investigations in the next few years. T3: immature market for construction waste recycling. Lack of a mature market for construction waste recycling is another important threat preventing the development of construction waste recycling in Shenzhen. According to opinions of interviewed project contractors and engineers, this disadvantage will not only decrease major stakeholders initiative in recycling construction waste, but also raise transaction costs of trading recycled products. Eventually this can harm the effectiveness of construction waste recycling to a certain extent. The interviewed project contractors told us that lack of a mature market for trading recycled construction materials has been a major reason leading to a low proportion of construction waste recycling. Meanwhile, the large amount of dumped construction waste, which is largely recyclable, has placed a heavy burden upon limited landll capacities. Therefore, the immature market for trading recycled construction materials restricts the development of CWM in Shenzhen greatly. T4: insufcient funds for CWM research. It is generally acknowledged that research is important to driving the development of CWM (Lu and Yuan, 2010). But most of the research funds have been given to the four regional pillar industries, namely, high technology industry, nance industry, logistics industry, and

culture industry, while the funds invested in CWM related research are very limited. As argued by some interviewed project owners and contractors, further development of construction waste recycling and management requires continuous nancial supports to carry out research in terms of effective CWM methods, effective construction waste landll charge, detailed standard of recycled materials made from construction waste, etc. Only in this way can they have effective CWM measures to follow when carrying out waste management activities in construction practice. Hence, lack of additional funds for conducting CWM related research is also an important obstacle to CWM development in Shenzhen. 4. Strategies for promoting CWM in Shenzhen, China Based on the SWOTs identied above, critical strategies for CWM development can be proposed accordingly, which is exhibited in Fig. 2. The basic principle of designing CWM strategies is maximizing strengths and opportunities, transforming weaknesses to strengths, and minimizing threats. It is apparent from Fig. 2 that there are seven critical strategies for addressing CWM problems in Shenzhen from the strategic perspective, namely, S1-establishing a mechanism for determining the responsibility of various departments involved, S2promulgating detailed CWM regulations, S3-investigating the amount of construction waste generated in Shenzhen and planning waste facilities properly, S4-implementing CWM throughout the life cycle of construction projects, S5-implementing a pilot program of applying recycled construction materials, S6-establishing a construction waste research institute in Shenzhen, and S7raising CWM awareness via training and promotion activities. Particularly, S1 is to address W1; S2 is mainly to deal with W1 and T2; S4 and S7 are mainly to address W2 and W3; S3 is proposed to deal with W4 and T1; S5 is mainly used to minimize the inuence of T3; and S6 is presented to minimize the inuence of T4. The specic strategies proposed are discussed in the following section. 4.1. S1: establishing a mechanism for determining the responsibility of various departments involved CWM is a complicated system which involves many elements (Seadon, 2010). It not only contains various processes, such as land requisition for landll construction, environmental impact assessment of new landlls, and construction waste transportation, but also involves various government departments, typically including the construction department, the land department, the planning department, and the environmental protection department. How to coordinate these departments and allocate responsibilities to them properly would largely inuence the overall effectiveness of CWM. In Shenzhen, an effective mechanism in which the responsibility of individual department involved is clearly determined is lacking. Therefore, there is a pressing need to develop a mechanism in order to clearly state the due responsibility of each department involved. 4.2. S2: promulgating detailed CWM regulations

Table 3 The prole of existing construction waste landlls in Shenzhen. No. Landlls 1 2 3 Start time Capacity (10,000 m3 year1) 432 50 50 Coverage of service Full since

Tang Lang Mountain 2001 landll Xi Xiang landll 2005 Central City landll 2001

The entire city 2006 Bao An district 2008 Long Gang 2010 district

As discussed in W1, CWM related regulations in Shenzhen are incomplete. Exiting regulations only cover aspects of construction waste transportation and disposal. In this sense, a regulation system covering a broader range of dimensions, such as construction waste sorting, reuse, and recycling, should be developed. In the meantime, present regulations are too general to guide the waste management practices. This is evident from the qualitative description of existing regulations. Hence, the Shenzhen government should promulgate detailed CWM regulations that the

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Fig. 2. Strategies for successful CWM in Shenzhen.

industry stakeholders can truly follow. Such regulations have to contain practical schemes for managing construction waste and present proper quantitative indicators that can be used to measure the effects of CWM. 4.3. S3: investigating the amount of construction waste generated in Shenzhen and planning waste facilities properly Most of the cities in China, including Shenzhen, have not conducted regular statistics on amounts of construction waste generation. This has been a major barrier for stakeholders to understanding the actual status quo of construction waste generation in the region and consequently preventing the proposal of effective management measures to improve the situation. Since proper allocation of construction waste recycling facilities depends on a number of factors, among which a signicant one is amount of construction waste generated in specic districts. Without accurate data on construction waste generation, it is therefore impossible to determine the layout of waste recycling facilities properly across the city. Hence, the third recommendation for successful CWM in Shenzhen is to launch regular statistics on construction waste generation so that waste recycling facilities can be planned properly. 4.4. S4: implementing CWM throughout the life cycle of construction projects Currently, only the construction materials that can be directly used in subsequent construction processes (such as metal and timber) are reused and recycled on-site, whilst other construction waste is sent to landlls or disposed of at unauthorized areas. To improve the situation, CWM in Shenzhen should embrace the idea of implementing CWM throughout the life cycle of construction projects, ranging from the project design stage, the construction stage, to the nal demolition stage. Each of the stages would contribute to construction waste generation, either directly or indirectly. Therefore, the current CWM practice in Shenzhen, which

mainly focuses on the construction stage, should be extended to cover different stages of a construction projects life cycle. 4.5. S5: implementing a pilot program of applying recycled materials Although as discussed previously, Shenzhen has launched a pilot program of applying recycled construction materials, the coverage of the pilot program is limited to a few public invested construction projects. In the future, the pilot program should be extended further to embody all construction projects in Shenzhen. To enhance the effectiveness of the program, the government is suggested to develop appropriate assessment systems to regularly measure the performance of companies in applying recycled construction materials. Those companies with better performance will be awarded, which can be an effective mechanism for stimulating companies to adopt recycled construction materials in their construction projects. 4.6. S6: establishing a construction waste research institute in Shenzhen Given that on one hand there are a number of construction waste problems to be studied and on the other hand, limited funds have been invested in supporting the construction waste related research, the Shenzhen government is recommended to establish a research institute focusing on construction waste recycling and management. At the beginning of the institute, the government can provide nancial supports to recruit researchers and staff. Once the institute can make prots through providing consulting service and selling products or patented technologies to the government and companies, the government will no longer provide nancial supports for it. This mode has two obvious advantages: one is that the institute may become a good platform for aggregating talents in studying construction waste recycling and management; the other is that the institute can provide reliable and high-quality services and technologies by referring to the particular context of Shenzhen.

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4.7. S7: raising CWM awareness via training and promotion activities It is widely acknowledged by existing literature that stakeholders awareness about CWM plays a vital role in CWM development (Teo and Loosermore, 2001). At present, industry stakeholders awareness about CWM in Shenzhen is at a relatively low level. It is therefore suggested that the government could enhance their awareness through the following methods:  Launching a series of promotion activities via public advertisement, newspaper, radio and outdoor advertising;  Enhancing awareness of contractors, engineers, architects and workers through vocational training; and  Establishing specic awards to stimulate the activeness of the general public and industry stakeholders, so that they can actively participant in CWM activities. 5. Conclusions Through carrying out a thorough SWOT analysis, the internal and external conditions of CWM in Shenzhen of south China were clearly presented. The results suggest that while developing its CWM, Shenzhen should build on its strengths including good geographic location and strong awareness of the local government about promoting CWM. Further, Shenzhen has played a leading role in promulgating CWM related regulations among Chinese cities. In the meanwhile, Shenzhen presents some weaknesses, which mainly involve incomplete CWM related regulations, low proportion of on-site construction waste sorting, poor construction waste reduction, and lack of systemic planning of construction waste recycling facilities. These weaknesses would largely hinder its future CWM development. The ndings also present some major opportunities that Shenzhen can exploit, as well as some threats that need to be mitigated in the future. Generally, Shenzhens special status as a SEZ in China provides a good chance for the region to promote its CWM practice. The strong appeal for reducing construction waste throughout China offers a good external opportunity to embrace environmentally friendly practices in the construction industry. Furthermore, extensive supports of the local government and industry associations also form a concrete foundation for promoting CWM in Shenzhen. Nevertheless, threats to successful CWM are also considerable, which mainly encompass limited landlls for handling generated construction waste, low charge for landlling construction waste, immature market for trading recycled construction materials, and insufcient funds for conducting CWM research. Based on the SWOTs identied, seven critical strategies for improving the CWM situation in Shenzhen were proposed. These strategies include: S1-establishing a mechanism for determining the responsibility of various government departments involved, S2promulgating detailed CWM regulations, S3-investigating amounts

of construction waste generated in Shenzhen and planning construction waste facilities properly, S4-implementing CWM throughout the life cycle of construction projects, S5-implementing a pilot program of applying recycled construction materials, S6establishing a construction waste research institute in Shenzhen, and S7-raising CWM awareness via training and promotion activities. The identied SWOTs are critical in contributing to successful CWM in Shenzhen. They may also be useful references for other Chinese regions which intend to enhance the CWM. The strategies proposed could be utilized by decision-makers in Shenzhen to plan its future CWM development. Acknowledgments This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No 71203184) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (SWJTU12CX115). References
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