The cement industry and LafargeHolcim have developed, under the Geocycle brand, strong expertise in coprocessing. This latter refers to the simultaneous recovery of energy and the recycling of mineral materials within one single industrial process: cement manufacturing. This waste treatment solution allows 100% of the material input to be recovered or recycled in the production process without any additional residue or impact on health and cement quality.
In Retznei (Austria), the local cement plant is already amongst the best performer worldwide in terms Waste-to-Energy rate. In 2016, the Geocycle Recycling Center nearby the cement plant settled the benchmark in recycling Construction & Demolition Waste by processing 100,000 tons of C&DW in a year. The pre-treatment platform offers a complete solution for a full C&DW stream, in respect of European waste hierarchy. Retznei plant recovers this stream through co-processing (otherwise it would have been landfilled), mainly clay bricks, so-called “red fraction”, as an alternative raw material.
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Today, 12% of the raw materials used to produce cement in Retznei come from recycled waste. This approach ensures:
- An optimal use of the waste thanks to co-processing that prevent waste from going to landfill. Clay bricks cannot be recycled in Austria as it is non frost resistant;
- A contribution to reduce GHG by using local waste stream instead of extracting and transporting natural resources and avoiding decarbonisation of limestone, the traditionally natural resource used to producecement;
- A contribution to prevent the use of natural resources: the plant substitutes 30,000 tons of natural resources every year;
- Local activity by creating 3 new direct jobs and several indirect positions.