Dear reader, it is my honour to present the first edition of our newsletter. It has already been some 25 years since FIR was established. Since then, we have worked hard to develop a sound recycling industry in various Member States. We would like to inform you about what we have achieved and about everyday life in our business. We have restyled our “corporate identity” with a new logo and website, and would hereby like to introduce our new digital newsletter.
FIR represents recyclers of Construction & Demolition Waste and of Incinerator Bottom Ash. These two waste streams constitute a major concern in each Member State as they make up more than one third of all waste. It is our job and duty to carefully reprocess this waste into valuable materials of high quality which can be used in society. We have created a significant amount of jobs in Europe as a result of these processes. We also contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases. Our work is a perfect example of what Europe wants to achieve in the Circular Economy, as the Circular Economy is our job.
I sincerely hope that our newsletter will give you more insight into our world of recycling and that it will encourage others to also join our work.
Michael Stoll, president
Spreading the news - EU protocol on tour
In collaboration with experts throughout Europe, the European Commission developed the EU Construction & Demolition Waste Management Protocol. This protocol summarises all information on the management of C&DW. The aim of the protocol is to increase confidence in the C&DW management process and trust in the quality of recycled materials. It will also serve as a guideline for all stakeholders in Europe that wish to develop the recycling of C&DW. The European Commission is currently performing a roadshow to bring the protocol to the attention in six capitals.
FIR has contributed significantly to the protocol. As main parts of it concern recycling of C&DW and quality issues of recycled aggregates, FIR was able to bring in substantial information. Specifically, FIR has presented the protocol at the workshop in Bucharest.
On 14-16 June the DDR Expo (Demolition, Decontamination & Recycling) was organised by FIR’s colleague association EDA. During a three-day event visitors of various backgrounds – industry, policy, science – discussed the Circular Economy and opportunities presented by demolition and recycling. An exhibition hall showed the latest technologies of equipment suppliers.
FIR, as institutional partner, organised one of the workshops at the event. This workshop focused on good examples of recycling and how to translate experiences to other areas. Geert Cuperus of FIR presented the Dutch example where appropriate policies and waste management tools have led to more than 95% recycling. The key factors of recycling were discussed with Willy Goossens of FPRG (Flanders) and Giorgio Bressi of ANPAR (Italy). The overall message was that good ambitions (like the 70% target of the Waste Framework Directive) are very well achievable using the right set of tools.
Taking recycling even further: bituminous roofing material
Roofing materials are rarely recycled in Europe. The Dutch government and industry however see it as a challenge to increase current high rates of recycling. They have developed a “closed loop project” aimed at complete recycling of bituminous roofing materials. An important issue is the presence of tar-containing materials on roofings, which must be separated. Some recyclers have developed technologies to process the roofing materials into aggregates. These can be used as substitute for bitumen in asphalt. The good performance of such types of asphalt is still to be proven. The Ministry of Transport and industrial partners have recently started a validation process.
Tracimat recognised by Flemish authorities
Flemish constructors, demolition companies and recyclers have together developed Tracimat, a novel methodology to track and trace C&DW. Tracimat certifies the selective demolition of buildings and construction and so assures that good quality material enters the recycling process. The elaborate traceability process of Tracimat enhances good quality recycling of C&DW and trust in recycled materials. Tracimat is incorporated in Flemish environmental legislation.
Recycling of C&DW and IBA (Incinerator Bottom Ash) involves many items that stakeholders are concerned with. These issues – technical, organisational, legislative, economic – are rather similar in all Member States where recycling has been or is being developed. FIR likes to inform stakeholders on the various issues related to recycling. We have therefore started to develop factsheets on specific issues of C&DW and IBA recycling. The issues will become available on the FIR website. A first factsheet on tar containing asphalt has recently been finalised.
Dutch IBA recycler Heros organised The Bottom Ash Event on 8 June to celebrate the introduction of several novel technologies for the recycling of IBA. Heros recycles some 650,000 tonnes IBA from The Netherlands, UK and Belgium annually. Its products are used in concrete and in road construction. At the event new installations were inaugurated that will further improve the recovery of metals and the quality of aggregates.
During the workshop it became clear that the European Commission recognises that the recovery of metals from IBA must count for recycling targets for household waste. However, It was stressed that recycling of the mineral fraction will not be included in the targets. Mr. Diaz del Castillo of the Commission also highlighted that end-of-waste criteria are not expected for IBA on a European level.
Prior to the event FIR held its own technical meeting on IBA where developments in other Member States were also discussed. The growing interest in the issue shows the opportunities of IBA recycling, although currently IBA is not very high on the European agenda.
Links in this newsletter may only be temporarily available