From Demolition to the Production of Recycled Aggregates: Analysis of the Logic of Proximity in a Production Chain in the Urban Area of Lyon

By Laëtitia Mongeard


Demolition activities produce large quantities of materially imposing, inert waste which can be reused as secondary building materials. This inert waste, like others, must be managed locally, but it is distinguished by a management sector composed of private actors. Drawing on the international literature on commodity chains and research on economies of proximity, this paper analyzes the spatiality of the production chain of recycled gravel from demolition waste. The notion of commodity chain is mobilized to qualify a local chain, described with the analytical components of the production process, its actors, the regulatory framework and its territory. The analysis is based on the study of 24 demolition sites carried out in the Lyon area. Using the categories of proximity developed in the literature, the article shows that the management of inert waste depends on a logic of social proximity between the actors of the sector that is not necessarily in line with spatial proximity.


  • demolition
  • inert waste
  • commodity chain
  • proximity
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