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. We also endlessly promote the use of secondary resources over primary materials and the recycling of all types of waste.
Responsible Manufacturing from Recycled Materials
Steel is an endlessly reusable product, meaning it is an input in both our industrial process and our end products. This is a unique property and one that Aperam is fully committed to optimizing.
As of 2020, many of our products contain over 80% metallic scrap. This is especially true for the stainless steels produced at our Genk and Châtelet sites, with our average Genk austenitics reaching over 90%.
Furthermore, as an active promoter of a circular economy, we not only recycle scrap into our production, but a range of external waste too. As of 2020, 25% of all our input material (including nitrogen, fuel, wooden pallets, consumables, etc.) came from recycled sources.
Recycling Our Waste and By-products to become a Zero-Waste Company
Using recycled materials is one thing. But because all our activities generate waste, we also have a responsibility to address the waste and by-products produced by our units and manufacturing processes. As we aim to become a zero-waste to landfill company, we need to find solutions for all our residues.
One of our responses to this challenge is Recyco, our European recycling unit dedicated to recovering and treating the metallic content from melting shop dust and sludge. Re-using the furnace of a former melt shop, we treat these residues and extract the valuable metallic content to send it back for reuse.
However, some by-products, such as acids and specific treatment mud, still need a viable technical solution. That’s why our engineers and R&D team are working on innovative new solutions to neutralize such hazardous waste. As of 2020, less than 7% of our total waste was classified as hazardous.
On our path to becoming a zero-waste (for landfill) company, we report that we currently send just 6% of our by-products to the landfill, with the remainder being reused, recycled or stored for future recycling. As a result, our recycling ratio now stands at 94%.