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11th Building Materials Recycling Conference, 8th October 2008, Filderstadt/Germany

On 08.10. 2008, the 11th Conference of the German ­Building Materials Recycling Industry was held in Filderstadt (Fig. 1) under the motto “Substitute Building ­Materials ­Ordinance and REACh – Critical Issues in the Building ­Material Recycling Industry”. The organizers were the Industrie­verband Steine und Erden e.V. (ISTE – Industrial Association for ­Non-Metallic Minerals Regd), the Qualitätssicherungssystem Recycling-Baustoffe Baden-Württemberg e.V. (QRB – Quality Assurance System for Recycled Building Materials of Baden-Württemberg Regd), the Bundesvereinigung Recycling-Baustoffe e.V. (BRB – Federal German Association or Recycled ­Building Materials Regd) and F.I.R. – Fédération Internationale du ­Recyclage (International Recycling Federation) as well as ­numerous cooperation partners.

In two panel discussions moderated by Joachim Mahrholdt (Fig. 2) from the environmental editorial team of the ZDF (Germany’s second national television channel), the expert speakers addressed current issues. Accordingly, all delegates were brought up to date on the latest information. In the concluding round, the further course of developments was discussed. The current state of the ordinance on substitute building materials planned by Germany’s Ministry of the Environment was outlined by Rüdiger Wagner (Germany’s Ministry of the Environment) from the point of view of the administration. Dr Bernd Susset, Centre for Applied Geosciences at the University of Tübingen, and Prof. Dr Stefan Gäth, Institute of Landscape Ecology, Waste and Resource Management – University of Giessen, commented on the scientific evaluation for the derivation of material values and possibilities for the emplacement of mineral building materials. Commissioned by the Bundesverband Baustoffe Steine und Erden e.V. (BBS – German Association for Building Materials, Non-Metallic Minerals Regd.), Professors Gäth and Luckner had examined the scientific concept – especially the negligibility threshold, which had been published in May 2008. The Ministry of the Environment of the German state of Baden-Württemberg and Bundesvereinigung ­Recycling-Baustoffe e. V. (BRB – German Association of ­Recycled Building Materials) and others informed delegates about the status of REACh and presented recommendations for action. According to this, recycled building materials are classified as waste in European legislation and therefore do not need to be pre-registered. All papers and other information can be found at www.qrb-bw.de.

The 12th Building Materials Recycling Day, which will take place on 14.10. 2009 in Filderstadt, also promises to be very interesting. The Environmental Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Tanja Gönner, has already agreed to take part. Germany’s ­Minister of the Environment has also been asked to attend.

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