Disaster Waste Management on the Road to Recovery: L’Aquila Earthquake Case Study

Charlotte Brown, Mike Milke, Erica Seville, Sonia Giovinazzi

Department of Civil & Natural Resources Engineering, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Engineering: Conference Contributions 2004


Earthquakes impacting on the built environment can generate significant volumes of waste, often overwhelming existing waste management capacities. Earthquake waste can pose a public and environmental health hazard and can become a road block on the road to recovery.

Specific research has been developed at the University of Canterbury to go beyond the current perception of disaster waste as a logistical hurdle, to a realisation that disaster waste management is part of the overall recovery process and can be planned for effectively. Disaster waste decision-makers, often constrained by inappropriate institutional frameworks, are faced with conflicting social, economic and environmental drivers which all impact on the overall recovery.

Framed around L’Aquila earthquake, Italy, 2009, this paper discusses the social, economic and environmental effects of earthquake waste management and the impact of existing institutional frameworks (legal, financial and organisational). The paper concludes by discussing how to plan for earthquake waste management.

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