Poor waste management is an issue in developing countries and in countries in transition. In many of these countries, waste is discharged to sewers, buried or burned on company premises, illegally dumped at unsuitable locations or taken to landfills that fail to meet requirements for the environmentally sound final disposal of waste. This can cause contamination of soil, water resources and the atmosphere, leading to the sustained deterioration of the living conditions and health of the adjacent populations. Toxic substances and persistent compounds escape into the environment, are spread through the air over large areas and can enter the food chain, affecting human and animal health.
|Co-processing is the use of waste material as raw materials or as a source of energy, or both, to replace natural mineral resources and fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum and gas in industrial processes.
One proven alternative and possible solution is the co-processing of selected waste materials in the cement industry. An efficient cement kiln can provide an environmentally sound and cost-effective treatment or recovery option for a number of wastes.
The use of alternative fuels and raw materials (AFR) in cement kilns can decrease the environmental impacts of wastes, safely dispose of hazardous wastes, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, decrease waste handling costs and save money in the cement industry. It will help in achieving the targets set in Agenda 21 of the "Earth Summit" in Rio de Janeiro (1992) and the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development (2002).
To promote co-processing of waste in cement kilns the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit GmbH, and Holcim Group Support LTD formed a strategic alliance in 2003. Holcim is a worldwide leading supplier of cement and aggregates as well as value-adding activities such as ready-mix concrete and asphalt, including services. GIZ is an international cooperation enterprise for sustainable development with worldwide operations. The cooperation of GIZ and Holcim developed guidelines on co-processing that include the basic rules and principles that have to be observed when co-processing waste materials.