The cement industry plays an important role in the circular economy, primarily through the simultaneous energy recovery and material recycling of alternative fuels in the process of waste to energy, known as co-processing.
Having stated the above BACI and the European cement association CEMBUREAU have a proposal to introduce a new code R15 “co-processing” as part of the revision mandate of Annex IV of the Basel Convention, as validated in plenary at the last meeting of the Parties in early May 2019.
The justification for our proposal is the following:
- Co-processing refers to the simultaneous recovery of energy and the recycling of minerals contained in waste. The combustible part of the waste provides the fuel needed for the manufacturing process and the mineral part substitutes primary raw materials in the production process. It allows to recovered and recycled close to 100 % of the material input without generating any residual waste. It leads to a reduction of the volume of waste being landfilled or incinerated and use its energy and material content in a very efficient manner.
- Co-processing leads to at least four important outcomes: reducing the CO2 intensity of cement manufacturing; reducing our dependence on virgin fossil fuels; decreasing the amount of waste which is landfilled; minimising public investment cost in new dedicated facilities.
- Importantly, it does not limit recycling potential in countries but optimize the use of waste – resource efficiency by delivering the best treatment solution for non-recyclable waste and avoiding the use of natural resources in cement manufacturing.
- Co-processing is a fully regulated process in many jurisdictions – Europe by the Industrial Emissions Directive and is endorsed by several international bodies (e.g. UNEP, EPA, GIZ, SINTEF).
- Co-processing of waste in cement kilns remains the best practice to treat waste not collected separately- for other recycling treatments, especially the non-recyclable fraction of municipal waste, while all cements manufactured through co-processing step are compliant with national and international cement product standards.
All the above BACI fully supports the recognition of a dedicated code R15 for co-processing as proposed in the revision of the R list of the Basel Convention. Furthermore BACI clearly defines the term of “co-processing” is the combination of simultaneous material recycling and energy recovery from waste in a thermal process.
Attached was presented to MOEW the CEMBUREAU’S position for the recommendations for revisions to Annex IV and Annex IX (B1110) prepared by the expert working group on the review of the Annexes of the Basel Convention.