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 optimising.
As of 2019, 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 89%.
But as an active promoter of a circular economy, we not only recycle scrap into our production but also such external wastes as tires and cans and such recycled materials as electrodes and refractories. In total, 24% of our overall production input comes from recycled sources.
Recycling Our Waste and By-products to become a Zero-Waste Company
Using recycled materials is one thing. But because all activities generate waste, we have a responsibility over the wastes 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.
In addition, all our units are working with our R&D department to find the right technical solutions, in line with local regulations, to address the hazardous wastes they produce, especially slags and acids.
On our path to become a zero-waste (for landfill) company, we report that less than 6% of our by-products were sent to the landfill in 2019, with the remainder being reused, recycled or stored for future recycling (see graph below).