Here at PSR we use the ISO -14001 Environmental Management System to manage the elements of the business that can impact on the environment. These include: waste, the correct segregation of waste, recycling, disposal of waste in a compliant way, energy consumption, water use, discharge and emissions. For this article we concentrate on the recycling that we do day to day.
In the manufacturing process, ‘green’ (un-fired) waste is predominantly reused back into the mix for casting. To streamline this we have this year invested in a Tromell machine designed and built to our own specification. The Tromell breaks up the product to a mesh size suitable for return to the mix, pictured to the left.
The fired waste is partially re used at our own plant after crushing, and what we cannot use is sold on for reuse by other refractory manufacturers and allied industries. At this point we should say that what is classed as waste is mainly off cuts from the machining process. We do of course have a small amount of waste from items that do not pass a quality inspection in some way, but this is maintained at a minimum by rigorous inspections at all stages of manufacture.
We are currently having discussions with a specialist supplier for a machine that will process the slurry waste that is produced as a result of machining the refractories, especially our larger items such as channels and roof blocks. Currently we use settling tanks to separate the refractory waste and these have to be emptied two to three times each year with the slurry going to landfill. The proposed new machine will enable us to separate the refractory from the water at an early stage and pack it into small easily managed units that can then be recycled back in to refractory production.
In line with all manufacturing sites we have many ancillary items to recycle as well as the production items mentioned, for example:
- Cardboard. Shredded here at PSR and used for packing Refractory expendables.
- Plastic and Paper Compacted here at PSR and sold on to recycling plants.
- Timber pallets Reused where suitable otherwise sold on for conversion into fuel for wood burning stoves.
- Household waste Segregated in the same way as domestic waste and recycled as appropriate.
We are proud of what we achieved so far but are constantly looking at ways to make further improvement. Our Commercial Director is attending a Carbon Trust Seminar later in November which will update manufacturers on emission reduction and capturing heat waste.