57.7%
separate waste collection
in an area with 3.3 million
inhabitants
94.6%
of recovered waste
the share of separate waste
collected, in favour of a circular
economy
103,000
tons of recycled plastic
produced by Aliplast

Recovery of industrial waste with Hasi and Waste Recycling

Herambiente Servizi Industriali, a subsidiary of Herambiente, managed over 558,000 tonnes of industrial waste in 2017, of which 31% was sent for material or energy recovery, a very positive figure, considering that in 2016 the recovery rate was around 25%. This figure reflects the commercial strategy orientation, according to which the company increasingly interfaces with the B2B world of primary producers of industrial waste, with a Global Waste Management offer for large customers, i.e. an effective system based on an analysis of business needs, up to final treatment, also by selecting qualified partners. All this, always, with the utmost attention to sustainability. The data confirm the potential of the offer, with a 78% recovery of material and energy from managed waste for Global Waste Management customers.

During the year, the offer also focused more on SMEs, proposing recovery solutions. The objective for 2018 is to increase the recovery rate of industrial waste through a commercial development integrated with circular economy solutions.

Quantity and percentage of waste sent for recovery of material and energy
  2016 2017
Quantity treated (tonnes x 1000) Share of waste recovered Quantity treated (tonnes x 1000) Share of waste recovered
Large customers 409 12% 389 16%
of which large global waste management customers 53 72% 59 78%
SMEs 156 58% 169 64%
Herambiente Servizi industriali Total
565 25% 558 31%

Waste Recycling, acquired by Herambiente at the end of in 2015, has worked in the special waste collection, storage, treatment and recovery sector in Pisa for over 20 years. The two main facilities managed are a selection plant for non-hazardous waste and a chemical-physical-biological plant for hazardous and non-hazardous liquid waste. The company also manages three other waste treatment plants.

Some examples of recovery are:

  • scraps of leather are used to produce soil improvers and fertilisers
  • the recoverable parts of paper are sent to paper mills
  • ferrous materials are separated and recycled in foundries
  • plastic is washed, drained and made into flakes for future processing
  • wood scraps are used to produce chipboard panels
  • all non-separated, not hazardous, waste such as bonded materials or other are used for energy production.
Percentage of solid waste sent for recovery of material and energy
% 2016 2017
Non-hazardous waste 21.3% 36.7%
Hazardous waste 9.2% 14.9%
Total 17.0% 27.8%
Of which material recovery 13.5% 25.6%
Of which energy recovery 3.4% 2.2%

Excluding liquid waste

In 2017, approximately 196,000 tonnes of solid waste were treated, of which 27.8% was recovered. Waste recycling also has a high level of competitiveness in the treatment of liquid waste, the effect of the significant investments made between 2010 and 2013 in the biological and chemical-physical plants. In 2017, 245 tonnes of liquid waste were treated, 77.4% of which was recovered. The water was discharged at the Aquarno treatment plant or reused as industrial water. The remaining 22.6% is made up of sludge disposed of in landfills.

2016 was the first year in which both lines of the osmosis plant were fully operational. Approximately 20,000 tonnes of water were recovered and returned to the production cycle as industrial water, thus reducing the amount of groundwater drained. At the end of 2016, the concentration lines downstream of the two evaporators were also started up, one for salt water and one for oily emulsions. The latter produces an oily concentrate which is then recycled.

In September 2017, a solvent water distillation plant was started up, capable of recovering the solvents contained and then recycle them. In 2017, 3,680 tonnes of solvents were recovered.

The acquisition of Teseco by Waste Recycling in 2017 will allow an increase in the percentage of recovery of incoming waste, also thanks to a new sorting plant, and it will be possible to lower the level of environmental risk thanks to an optimization and redistribution of the production and waste storage areas.

Waste Recycling owns the Best Recycling brand, registered in Italy and in Europe for Italian fashion companies and launched at Ecomondo 2014. Partnering with Certiquality, Best Recycling certifies that the companies that use the mark, recover all the waste produced by manufacturing leather, fur or fabric clothing, bags, shoes and fashion accessories.

The I-WASTE project is currently underway and involves the creation of a unified platform capable of gathering and processing information from a range of sensors and relating them to production activities in order to improve the efficiency of the management, technical and energy processes, allowing:

  • the various management applications already in use at Waste Recycling to dialogue and integrate;
  • to collect new analytical data concerning the performance of the individual devices (pumps, inverters, PLCs, transformers, etc.) and of the treatment plants for the various types of waste, using specific sensors; in other words, to extensively introduce IoT within the business
  • real-time processing of information from the various sensors using specific algorithms developed specifically to provide an overview of the functionality of the company’s various departments, in terms of energy consumption.