Reduce production waste sent to landfill
As aluminium is a valuable resource, most of our production waste is recycled. However, we do still produce some waste that is not recyclable by traditional means and therefore goes to landfill. Examples of this waste include flue-gas dust, sludge from wastewater treatment and waste from demolition. We have implemented several programs to recycle production waste at key sites and expect a significant reduction in the amount we send to landfill over the next five years.
Greater focus and better measurement
The increased focus on production waste has enabled us to improve the ways in which we measure waste. It has also identified waste streams of which we were previously unaware. The reporting of this ‘new’ waste has inevitably led to an increase in the total amount of waste produced.
During the 2016 year, we placed particular emphasis on waste management in the US. For example, at Muscle Shoals we installed a recycling dumpster to separate plastic, cardboard and paper for recycling. This initiative has already reduced the amount of mixed waste sent to landfill by 400 tons, a decrease of 8%. At Ravenswood, a similar approach has seen the installation of new sorting bins, and discussions are ongoing with a local recycler to further improve our performance.
One of our most important goals is to clearly identify all waste. Another key challenge is to recycle waste that is currently not recyclable by traditional means. For example, we are continuing to work with partners such as Strasbourg University in order to find ways to process flue-gas dust. For our US operations, a key challenge is to identify local facilities able to recycle our sorted waste.