The basics are already in existence. In collaboration with Saubermacher more than 80 percent of the waste at Magna Steyr in Graz, including cardboard, packaging and scrap, is put back into the circulation. As a result the waste therefore contributes to further use and is not pointlessly wasted. Just Zero Waste.
Nevertheless, almost 20 percent of the total amount of waste, or approximately 1800 tonnes, are currently (2013) designated as non-recyclable waste. So there is a bit to be achieved before the goal of Zero Waste is reached.
… AND FUTURE
In the medium term, according to the Zero Waste plan, the recycling rate is set to be increased to more than 90 percent. But how? Through the novel plant (initial still in the pilot phase) sited west of Graz: a physical and biological treatment plant in which hazardous liquid water-based wastes (such as paint sludge and bases) can be treated. It includes recovery of water through the complete separation of pollutants; the residual material is utilised by thermal recovery e.g. in energy production.
Of course, all this is only necessary if pollutants cannot be avoided from the outset.
NEW OPPORTUNITIES IN THE WEST
The individual steps in the plant take advantage of both physical principles, such as gravity, and biological processes. A new treatment process R3 (recycling/reclamation of organic substances) or R5 (recycling/reclamation of other inorganic materials) is also possible through the new plant to the west of Graz. For the first time, the pre-treated water thus produced will not be fed into a municipal wastewater treatment plant. Therefore this now makes it possible to use industrial water in a closed circuit, minimizing unnecessary consumption of drinking water.
One thing is certain, not least for Saubermacher Project Manager, Stefan Siegl: “Zero Waste is not a one-off project, but represents the long-term goal of a partnership. This means working together, both on the part of Saubermacher and on the part of our customers by trying to avoid waste and pollutants in general.”
An example of this is lithium-ion batteries (also at Magna Steyr in Graz). But that´s another story.
Source: Saubermacher AG