Just over half of the waste generated in the EU is recycled, 13 per cent is used for energy recovery, but 35 per cent is still disposed of, mostly in landfills claims a report by Ecofys.
Ecofys has clarified the role cement plants across the EU can play and how they can be part of European and national waste management policies. The cement industry co-processes millions of tonnes of waste as alternative fuel and alternative raw materials.
Analysis of the report suggests that EU member states could already save between EUR9-16bn by utilising existing capacity to dispose of more waste material destined for landfill, an amount that corresponds to investment required for the construction of new waste-to-energy incinerators.
The Ecofys report, commissioned by European cement association CEMBUREAU, was developed to provide information on how the European cement industry can contribute to the EU Energy Union Strategy by showing the potential waste uptake of existing cement plants across the EU with benefits on fossil fuel savings, CO2 emissions mitigation, resource efficiency and the circular economy.
Today, the cement industry has the technical potential to replace 60 per cent of its fuels with waste and, in the future, this percentage can rise to 95 per cent, claims Cembureau. Taking into account the amount of waste which is generated in the EU each year, the good use put to this growing amount of waste by the cement industry is a unique opportunity for waste management.