Sustainable fuel cements solid bond between companies

Cement production is set to become more sustainable thanks to the use of solid recovered fuel at a major cement kiln in the Midlands!

SITA UK, a waste management company, has started producing the solid recovered fuel (SRF), known as “Climafuel”, at its Birmingham facility. It is processed from the city’s commercial waste received by the plant, which opened in March. When the plant is fully up and running, it will process 22 tonnes of waste per hour, or 100,000 tonnes per year.

The waste will be transported to the nearby town of Rugby’s CEMEX factory, to fire the kiln that produces cement. The kiln will have a further SITA-operated SRF plant next to CEMEX UK by the end of next year, too.

The fuel is produced by sifting and shredding waste, and removing paper, plastics and metal for recycling. Anything damaging to the production of cement – waste with high chlorine or water content – is also taken out. What is left is further analysed with infra-red technology to ensure it is suitable to use as fuel by CEMEX.

This doesn’t mean that any rejected SRF will be wasted. Instead, it will go elsewhere to be used as fuel, ensuring that the entire process is highly sustainable. Ben Harding, SITA UK’s General Manager, Material Sourcing, said:

“Our partnership with CEMEX to supply the Rugby kiln with a specialist fuel made from waste that can’t reasonably be recycled is providing a cost-effective, greener and cleaner solution to two problems – reducing landfill and preserving fossil fuels.”

Recycling Lives is pleased that this solution has been found to make the production of cement more sustainable, and that great distances do not have to be driven in order to take the fuel to the cement factory. As CEMEX’s Ian Southcott explains:

“At the moment, we source Climafuel from a number of plants around the UK and to be able to secure supplies locally genuinely provides a local solution to the local problem of how best to utilise the waste that the community generates.”

At Recycling Lives, we are in favour of providing local solutions to local problems; in fact, this approach is fundamental to our Corporate Social Responsibility agenda, which underpins our policies and procedures. This makes us the ideal contractor for businesses and local authorities who are looking for added social value through waste management.

Our commercial operations are dedicated to finding the best ways to benefit local communities and add social value to the economy in the areas in which we work. Doing the best we can for the economy, and developing and maintaining sustainable operations, are at the heart of what we do.

For example, we have developed innovative manufacturing processes to convert waste plastic into beams for the construction industry, and glass into tiles that provide a sustainable alternative to ceramics and synthetics.

We wish CEMEX and SITA UK every success in their sustainability-conscious endeavours to produce cement using fuel made of waste.