62.5%
sorted waste
over an area with 3.1 million
inhabitants
93%
waste recovered
the amount of sorted waste
recuperated, going towards
a circular economy
150
thousand tons of CO2 avoided
with the plastic recycled
by Aliplast

The circular approach within the Hera Group

Waste produced by the company

In 2018, excluding AcegasApsAmga, the Group produced around 2.8 million tonnes of waste. Compared to 2017 (2.3 million tonnes), the total number of sub-products leaving Herambiente Group’s plants increased, as a result of the higher volumes handled. In particular, there were higher discharges from landfills/composters (leachate) and chemical-physical facilities, as a result of greater rainfall and the expansion of industrial activity (Waste Recycling), and from selection plants due to an increase in the amount of waste treated and the identification of outputs at the Castiglione plant.

Main types of waste produced by the company, by destination (2018)

tonnes

Landfill

Energy recovery

Other treatments

Total

Waste-to-energy plant electrofilter particulates*

0

0

54,651

54,651

Waste-to-energy plant slag

44,300

0

219,345

263,646

Solid waste from stabilization

35,501

189

31,886

67,576

Water purification sludge

17,676

24,515

116,745

158,936

Sludge produced by chemical-physical-biological plants

24,408

1,143

28,293

53,844

Leachate from landfills/composting

0

0

548,000

548,000

Non-reusable fractions from selection plants

71,016

30,881

76,159

178,057

Liquid waste from stabilization

0

0

51,970

51,970

Biostabilised

38,585

2,873

28,352

69,810

Water from chemical-physical biological treatment

0

0

731,976

731,976

Production of fuel derived from waste

0

694

90,251

90,945

Other waste from Herambiente storage and plants

3,903

16,410

519,637

539,950

Total

235,389

76,705

2,497,267

2,809,362

*hazardous waste

Recovery of waste-to-energy plant slag

The waste-to-energy plant growth and renovation plan pursued by Herambiente in recent years has had a positive impact on the production of combustion slag. The new combustion systems and, above all, the systems for the “cooling” and “gondola”-type systems to extract combustion slag, make it possible to have waste with a very low quantity of unburned matter and low water content. This has resulted in a lower percentage of slag produced and, above all, a quality level more suitable for subsequent recovery.

In 2018, the nine waste-to-energy plants operated by the Group for the disposal of municipal waste produced 263,646 tonnes of waste, equal to 20% of the waste treated at these plants. 83% of the slag produced was recovered while the remaining 17% was disposed of at landfills. The Ferrara and Pozzilli plants, and since 2018 the Bologna plant, also have metal separation systems for reuse of the metal in the metallurgical industry. In 2018, 2,506 tonnes of metals were recovered, an increase over 2017 (1,522 tonnes) despite the shutdown of the Pozzilli separation system, which was out of service for all of 2018.

Recovery of purification sludge

Purification sludge is considered special waste and must be managed as specified in Legislative Decree 152/2006. In 2018, the plants operated by the Group produced 36 kg of sludge per population equivalent served, in line with the previous year. Recovered purification sludge was used directly in agriculture only in the Triveneto area and accounts for 4.5% of the total. At Group level, the remaining sludge produced was processed by dedicated incineration (24,515 tonnes, 15.4% of the total), transfer to landfills (approx. 17,676 tonnes, 11.1% of the total compared to 19.0% in 2015) and indirect agricultural reuse, following composting (109,639 tonnes, 69.0%). The Business Plan includes several measures designed to optimize the sludge management processes, so as to reduce the quantity and identify innovative circular economy solutions to “transform sludge treatment and disposal into a source of opportunity”.