This study discusses the construction and demolition waste recycling stream both in Australia and in Germany. Differences and commonalities in commercial practices between the two countries are outlined, and open research questions are introduced. Following McDonough and Braungarts cradle-to-cradle theorem, and ideal closed-loop system within the building life cycle is proposed. Deficiencies and efficiencies in the closed-loop system are reported and assessed and related parameters promoting or hindering the closed-loop system are evaluated. Results of the study demonstrate that reusable and non-reusable materials generated from construction and demolition operations, which are destined for landfill, are categorized differently between the recycling systems used in Australia and Germany.