GTZ-Holcim partnership - co-processing contributes to better waste management.

GTZ-Holcim partnership - co-processing contributes to better waste management

Uncontrolled disposal of waste is an issue. The initial partnership agreement between Holcim Ltd and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GTZ) that started in 2003 led to the development of guidelines for the utilization of waste materials in the cement industry. They are particularly designed to improve waste management in developing countries. End of 2005 the partners entered into a second three year lasting co-operation to advance the implementation of the guidelines which was successful in more than 20 countries until now.

In many developing and newly industrialized countries, ever increasing quantities of waste are disposed of in an uncontrolled manner, incinerated or dumped in poorly operated landfill sites. The uncontrolled disposal of waste becomes particularly serious - and contaminates soil, water and air - where hazardous industrial waste is involved.

With co-processing, the cement industry offers an economically viable and environmentally friendly solution to a large range of waste problems: Alternative fuels and raw materials (AFR) generated from waste enter the cement production process. This helps saving resources, cuts emissions and is at the same time a safe method of waste disposal, if managed properly.

Co-processing is a proven technique providing for win-win solutions for companies, governments and society. Capacity building is therefore considered as a top priority. Material based on the GTZ-Holcim guidelines, a training kit, has been designed to enable public authorities and NGOs to understand the benefits, risks and opportunities of co-processing as a contribution towards sustainable development.

As a working basis for cement producers and governments, the guidelines represent a contribution to the long-term solution of the global waste problem and the responsible use of fossil fuels and primary raw materials.

Within the PPP, Holcim has improved its efficiency and reduced its ecological footprint, while GTZ has strengthened partner governments in developing countries, enabling for saving resources and more sustainable waste management.

The co-operation is a success story on which can be built on for the future: The collaboration between GTZ and Holcim continues on national level to ensure implementation of the guidelines; potentials of a future co-operation on international level are being explored as well.

A frontloader is discharging shredded solid waste.

The Public Private Partnership (PPP) between Holcim and GTZ was introduced to promote and support this approach in selected developing countries. During their first partnership that started in 2003, internationally acceptable guidelines for the co-processing of waste materials in the cement industry were developed. The outreach program included communication, consultation and engagement with various bodies. Among them were national authorities, UN organizations, NGOs (both international and local) and the cement industry itself. All these stakeholders can influence and impact guideline acceptance and take-up.

To implement the guidelines and to disseminate the gained experiences, a second three year lasting co-operation was started end of 2005. Since the start of the second partnership, the recommendations have been implemented in more than 20 countries.

By the end of 2008, the main objectives of the GTZ-Holcim collaboration, development of guidelines and their model application, had been achieved and the strategic alliance concluded.

At the end of 2008, the "UNEP Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal" initiated a process for the preparation of technical recommendations for co-processing of hazardous wastes in cement kilns. These guidelines will incorporate much experience gained through the PPP between Holcim and GTZ.