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Life Is.ECO or how to recycle bitumen-polymer membranes and glass-fiber-based insulating material

Life Is.ECO

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Italy
City: 
Vidalengo di Caravaggio (Bergamo - Lombardia Region); Chieti Scalo (Chieti - Abruzzo Region)

Language for original content:

Project elaborated in partnership: 
No

Scope:

Submitted by: 
ICESP (Italian Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform)
Start/End date: 
06/2014 to 05/2018
Ongoing: 
No
Description: 

The Life Is.ECO project's objective was to create and implement an integrated system for the treatment of production waste and obsolescences of bitumen-polymer membranes and glass-fiber-based mineral insulating material, in order to recycle and reintroduce these materials into their respective production processes. Project implementation was based on prior evaluation of potential waste recovery in terms of quantity, quality, material separation and waste valorization.

Analyses have pointed out that about 80% of bituminous membranes is made of a precious binding material (bitumen modified with polymer) and more than 90% of the mineral insulation is composed of glass fiber. These waste materials can be recovered and valorised, thus avoiding the landfill disposal that would entail a loss in value.

Life Is.ECO's main targets were:

  1. designing pilot plants and obtaining licences
  2. setting up the logistics and transportation service
  3. setting up recycling centres and calibrating the related plants
  4. disseminating the project results among stakeholders (waste producers).

Main activity field:

Identified challenge(s):

Main results: 
  1. Design of pilot plants for the recovery of glass wool and bituminous membranes wastes.
  2. Recovery of a) an average of 500 tonnes/year of insulating mineral wastes; b) 180 000 sqm/year of bituminous membranes wastes
  3. Production of about 600 tonnes/year of a secondary raw material to be used in the bituminous membranes industry.
  4. About 10% reduction of energy consumption and CO2 emissions for transportation and landfill disposal.
  5. The project has not produced any social or employment benefits yet, but the environmental aspect has raised great interest due to current difficulties in bitumen-polymer waste management.