Oficemen supports the industry’s participation in a closed circuit preventing the creation of waste, reducing CO2 emissions and, in general, more sustainable. To this end, it is backing sectorial agreements as the most suitable instrument for dealing with matters of shared interest and to minimize waste generation, making the most of the potential of industrial processes.
In this line of inter-sectorial collaboration, Oficemen signed agreements with Sigrauto and FER and another with Unesid.
Agreement with Sigrauto and FER
Energy recovery, one of the major wagers of the Spanish cement sector, is coming once more to the fore with the signing of the collaboration agreement between Oficemen, the Spanish Recycling Federation (FER) and the Spanish Association for the Environmental Treatment of End-of-Life Vehicles (Sigrauto). This agreement is an attempt to foster recycling of the materials obtained from the processing of vehicles, domestic appliances and other products when they reach the end of their working life.
The agreement foresees collaboration in various areas to promote energy recovery in cement kilns using the waste generated in Spanish crushing plants, where the end-of-life vehicles are subjected to a shredding process in order to separate and recycle the metal parts. Thus, the cement factories will be using light waste fragments such as textiles, padding, plastics and light rubbers, and heavy non-metallic waste such as rubbers and plastics so diverting these from disposal in landfills where they would become the source of greenhouse gas emissions.
Given the significance of this information, Oficemen, FER and Sigrauto have wanted to disseminate it for the purpose of extending this practice. Thus, they have prepared a leaflet in which, in summarized form, all details of the executed investigations and obtained results from this agreement are explained. Likewise, a website has started (www.autocemento.com) in which will be able to obtain detailed information about all these matters.
Agreement with Unesid
Oficemen and the Spanish Union of Metalworking Companies (Unión de Empresas Siderúrgicas or Unesid) have joined forces to encourage the use of waste in cement production. To do so, both institutions have signed a collaboration agreement to foster the replacement of some raw materials normally used in clinker production by slag from blast furnaces. Thanks to this agreement, the impact of quarrying will be reduced, as this waste provides the iron needed to manufacture this product.
The agreement implies, in addition, the creation of a technical commission comprising members of both associations with the aim of carrying out analyses and reports on the use of these materials in the manufacturing process and the inalterability of the end product.
The slag generated in the metalworking processes, over two million tonnes a year, is catalogued as non-hazardous waste. The correct handling of this waste stream implies a number of global benefits, whether from the point of view of the waste generators or from a social standpoint, as it represents a reduction in disposal costs, savings in raw materials, a smaller environmental impact and an increase in the quality of life in the areas surrounding these industries.
Collaboration with Cicloplast
The Spanish Cement Association, Oficemen, and Cicloplast, which represent the plastic producers and transforming in the promotion of plastic recycling in Spain, signed a collaboration agreement to recycle the plastic at the end of their operative life and to use it like fuel in cement plants in July 2009. The used plastic waste could have different origins.
Nowadays, Spain is one of the European countries which a highest average of local waste destined to dumps. Specifically, 68% of our waste is going to stay there, whereas the EU-15's average is placed in 33% and 42% if we spoke of the Eu-25. This initiative will suppose a fossil fuel saving and greenhouse gas emissions diminution, since the Spanish dumps cause 3% of the emissions. On the other hand, the use of the cement plants for this aim will avoid the investment in new systems of wasting management.
To substantially reduce the destiny in dumps of plastic waste is advisable to properly combine mechanical recycling with energetic recycling, since limitations to the mechanical recycling of plastics exist in terms of ecoeficiency.
The agreement between Cicloplast and Oficemen, what will be in force during four years, anticipates informative and communication activities as technical activities too. Specifically, both organizations are committed to realise formative activities on this recycling way, to exchange information on the present reality of this process, as well as to participate in events and congresses related to waste management or the ways to obtain energy. On the other hand, both organizations joint together to develop studies and R&D projects to impel already demonstrated technical and environmental viability of energetic plastic recycling in cement plants with the bests environmental guarantees and advantages.