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Staunton, J., Williams, C.D., Morrison, L., Fleming, G., Henry, T., Gormally, M.
2015
July
Land Use Policy
Spatio-temporal distribution of construction and demolition (C&D) waste disposal on wetlands: a case study
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tAlthough infilling of wetlands (legal and illegal) is commonplace, little is known about the spatio-temporal distribution of construction & demolition (C&D) waste infill sites at a local scale. This is ofparticular concern given the multiple functions of wetlands including, inter alia, habitat provision, floodcontrol and water storage. This case study from an Irish local authority quantifies, for the first time, theuse of wetland habitats for C&D waste infilling in addition to identifying patterns of C&D waste site dis-tribution and recording issues of non-compliance. We found that C&D waste cover on study sites grewfrom an estimated <10 ha in 1995 to >200 ha in 2010 within which time rapid economic growth occurred.Wet grasslands and peatlands were the most commonly infilled habitats, particularly near urban areasand adjacent to major roads. Of greater concern was that over 40% of C&D waste sites granted permitswere located within one kilometre of Special Areas of Conservation (EU Habitats Directive) and 54% werelocated on extremely vulnerable aquifers. Conditions attached to infilling permits were frequently bro-ken and commonly occurring illegal infilling sites had similar distribution patterns to the legal sites.Providing local authorities with sufficient resources to effectively police these sites in combination withexamining alternative uses for C&D waste (e.g. recycling), are likely to be the most effective ways of deal-ing with these issues. More rigorous ecological investigations of proposed infilling sites prior to grantingof permits would also limit the number of wetlands affected by infilling.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2015.06.023
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