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Ecofys reports how cement plants can aid waste management policies

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World Cement,

Just over half of the waste generated in the EU is recycled and 13% used for energy recovery, but 35% is still disposed of, mostly in landfills.

A report by Ecofys has clarified the role that can be played by cement plants across the EU, and how they can be part of European and national waste management policies. Million of t of waste is used by the cement industry as alternative fuel and alternative raw material, known as co-processing.

By using its existing installations for the intake of waste, the cement industry does not only offer a solution for waste that cannot be reused or recycled, but also avoids the need for member states to invest in additional capacity. Based on the analysis by Ecofys, Member States could, already now, save between €9 – 16 billion by utilising existing capacity in the cement industry, an amount that corresponds to investment required for the construction of new waste-to-energy incinerators.

The cement industry has the technical potential to replace 60% of its fuels with waste and, in the future, this percentage can rise to 95%. Taking into account the amount of waste which is generated in the EU each year, the good use put to this growing amount of waste by the cement industry is a unique opportunity for waste management.

The Ecofys study has focused on three countries to illustrate progressive stages of waste market development, namely Greece, Poland and Germany. It clearly shows that, as Member States improve the way in which waste follows the higher ranks of the waste hierarchy and reduce their dependency on landfills, waste-to-energy options will increasingly play a role for residual waste.

This report, commissioned by CEMBUREAU, has been developed in order to provide information on how the European cement industry can contribute to the EU Energy Union Strategy by showing the potential waste uptake of existing cement plants across the EU with benefits on fossil fuel savings, CO2 emissions mitigation, resource efficiency, and the circular economy.

Adapted from press release by

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