05 Feb Non-Hazardous Industrial Waste: A Global Challenge
Waste production is a constantly increasing phenomenon worldwide, and non-hazardous industrial waste forms a significant part of this trend. These wastes, produced by industrial and commercial activities, include a wide range of materials, such as production scrap, construction and demolition waste, and packaging waste.
Managing non-hazardous industrial waste is a complex challenge, requiring an integrated approach that considers economic, environmental, and social factors. The main goals of managing non-hazardous industrial waste are reducing production, differentiated collection, and sustainable treatment.
According to the latest statistics, in 2021, non-hazardous industrial waste production was 12.7 million tons in Italy and 120.4 million tons in the European Union. In both cases, production has increased compared to previous years.
Collection of non-hazardous industrial waste is also on the rise in Italy and Europe. In 2021, Italy collected 12.1 million tons and the European Union collected 117.4 million tons.
The treatment of non-hazardous industrial waste is mainly carried out through recycling and energy recovery. In 2021 in Italy, 41.5% of non-hazardous industrial waste was recycled, 39.7% underwent energy recovery, and 18.8% was disposed of in landfills. In the European Union, recycling and energy recovery rates were 47.1% and 43.8%, respectively.
The production and collection of non-hazardous industrial waste are increasing in Italy and Europe. The percentage of waste recycled or recovered for energy is rising, but the amount disposed of in landfills remains significant.
Challenges European countries will face in the future include reducing waste production, improving differentiated collection, and increasing recycling and energy recovery rates.
Interventions to Reduce Production of Non-Hazardous Industrial Waste
To reduce the production of non-hazardous industrial waste, it’s necessary to promote prevention and eco-design. Prevention involves avoiding waste production in the first place, while eco-design involves designing products and production processes that generate less waste.
Interventions to promote prevention and eco-design include:
- Introducing fiscal measures that reward companies adopting prevention and eco-design practices.
- Developing guidelines and technical standards promoting the use of low-environmental-impact materials and production processes.
- Disseminating information and training on prevention and eco-design practices.
Interventions for Improving Differentiated Collection
Improving differentiated collection is another important aspect of sustainable management of non-hazardous industrial waste. Differentiated collection allows for separating waste based on its characteristics, facilitating its treatment and reuse.
Interventions to improve differentiated collection include:
- Introducing comprehensive and accessible differentiated collection systems.
- Promoting informational and awareness campaigns on the benefits of differentiated collection.
- Adopting tariff systems that reward companies for recycling.
Interventions to Increase Recycling and Energy Recovery Rates
Increasing the recycling and energy recovery rates is essential to reduce the environmental impact of non-hazardous industrial waste. Recycling allows for recovering materials from waste, reducing the need to extract new raw materials. Energy recovery enables producing energy from waste, reducing dependence on fossil fuels.
Interventions to increase recycling and energy recovery rates include:
- Introducing binding targets for countries and companies.
- Supporting investments in recycling and energy recovery facilities.
- Promoting research and development of new waste treatment technologies.
Managing non-hazardous industrial waste is a complex challenge, but it’s one that can be overcome through targeted and coordinated interventions.
Specialized Companies in Industrial Waste Management
According to ISPRA data, in 2022, there were 18,485 companies specialized in industrial waste management in Italy. Of these, 51% operated in the waste transportation and disposal sector, 22% in the waste recovery and recycling sector, and 27% in other sectors, such as consulting and training.
In the European Union in 2022, according to Eurostat data, there were 180,000 companies specialized in industrial waste management. Of these, 53% operated in the waste transportation and disposal sector, 23% in the recovery and recycling sector, and 24% in other sectors.
The industrial waste management sector is growing in Italy and Europe. The number of specialized companies in this sector is increasing and is expected to continue to grow in the coming years.
A Concrete Example
Some time ago, a specialized company, which manages industrial waste from production activities and large industry, turned to SatrindTech for a waste treatment line for the collected and stored waste.
SatrindTech designed, produced, and installed a complete treatment line consisting of several elements. The heart of the line is a 110kW dual-shaft shredder, model K 20/150, with hydraulic motorization.
The loading system is equipped with a 5-meter motorized roller conveyor, on which operators load the pallets of material to be treated (load units, UdC). The roller conveyor brings the UdC to the entrance hatch of an elevator, which takes the load, lifts it to a height of 10 meters, where the UdC is unloaded into the hopper of the shredder.
A hydraulic press in the hopper helps prevent the material from bridging. The shredded material is discharged onto a 12-meter rubber belt conveyor with a pneumatic jet cleaning system, which carries it to a collection pit, from where it is picked up by a hydraulic bucket for the next processing stage.
There is extensive sensor equipment along the entire line, allowing the entire cycle to be managed automatically, entirely controlled by a single command panel with a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC).
Our commercial team is at your disposal to provide you with further information and present our wide range of industrial shredders and support you in your waste shredding issues.
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