Waste & Recycling
Primary resources and waste recycling
From recovering the metallic content of our melting shop dust to our commitment to becoming a zero-waste company, it’s no stretch to say that Aperam is a recycling champion.
> Steel is an endlessly reusable product, meaning it is an input in both our industrial process and our end product. This is a unique property, and one that Aperam is fully committed to optimising. Recyco, our European recycling unit, is dedicated to recovering and treating the metallic content from melting shop dust and sending it back for reuse. Furthermore, to become a zero-waste company, all our units are working to address the hazardous wastes that they produce, especially the slags, dust and acids.
As of 2017, 86% of our waste is recycled, 2% reused, and 4% stored until new solutions are finalised. This means that only 6% of Aperam’s waste ends up in the landfill.
> Of course, none of this would be possible if it wasn’t for the commitment of our individual sites. For example, at Timoteo, our Cruzinheiro project deals with extracting dust that has been stored since the 1970s. Using new technology to efficiently treat the dust, so far we have recovered 89 tons. It is estimated that the entire stock will be removed by 2021.
> To help avoid waste, S&S Campinas took several new actions in 2018. Firstly, they cut the amount of felt used in the production process (to avoid dust deposits between the plates) in half. Instead of disposing of the felt after each use, it is now cleaned (twice on average) and reused in the process. The unit has also developed a method for recovering slightly damaged plates by grinding and cutting them in the Recovery Center. Once these new parts are optimised as first choice products, they can be used to address our customers’ needs, offering the best quality and price. This action avoids scraping of about 2% of some of our specific products and has contributed to a more sustainable use of materials and energy.
> This is all in line with our aim to become a zero-waste (for landfill) company. In 2018, 28.6% of our overall production input of 5,876,691 tons came from recycled sources (+2 pts versus 2017), and less than 7% of our by-products were sent to the landfill, with the remainder being reused, recycled or stored for future recycling (see graph, right). In terms of metal input, some of our products contain over 80% metallic scrap. This is especially true for the stainless steels melt in Genk and Châtelet, with our austenitics often reaching levels beyond 88%.