Europe Leads Briquetting, Zero Waste Initiatives in Manufacturing

Around the world, multinational corporations are looking for ways to reduce waste and improve their environmental footprints. A key step along this path, is becoming a zero-waste-to-landfill facility. Achieving this milestone is no small accomplishment, but with the help of briquetting, the goal is possible. Not only does briquetting keep tons of byproduct material out of landfills, it also helps to protect groundwater while preserving more open space.

Here are just two examples of visionary corporations that are using briquetting to achieve zero-waste-to-landfill status.

Ford achieves zero waste in Europe

Ford of Europe recently achieved zero waste to landfill at all of its European manufacturing plants using, among other methods, briquetting. The company’s Dagenham, U.K., engine plant briquettes grinding sludge, enabling reuse of the oil in the production process.

The Dagenham operation joins plants in Bridgend, U.K.; Valencia, Spain; Craiova, Romania Bordeaux, France; and Cologne and Saarlouis, Germany in achieving zero waste to landfill.

All told, these plants produce a combined 1.2 million vehicles for Ford each year. The zero-waste-to-landfill initiative is estimated to have eliminated 6,000 metric tons of waste per year over the past five years. According to Ford, the initiative is related to an effort to reduce water and electricity usage as part of the company’s global sustainability strategy.

Knauf Insulation briquettes rock mineral wool, cuts landfilling by half

The Knauf Group was founded in Germany as a gypsum processor in 1932 and now operates manufacturing facilities in Europe, Russia, the UK and the United States. In addition to gypsum products such as plasterboard, the $1.5 billion family-owned company has diversified its offerings to include building materials such as ceiling tiles, rolled metal sections and insulation products like glass mineral wool, extruded and expanded polystyrene, and rock mineral wool.

Used as an insulation, rock mineral wool is melted and spun into fibers. The end product has a wool-like texture and is processed into batts, rolls or loose-fill forms. Like fiberglass, mineral wool is also used throughout a house in sidewalls, attics, floors, crawlspaces, cathedral ceilings and basements.

The world’s fastest-growing insulation manufacturer, Knauf Insulation has achieved a dramatic reversal in the amount of waste it sends to landfills. As recently as 2010, the company sent 100 percent of its production byproduct material to the dump. But as of 2015, the amount sent to landfill had been reduced by half, company-wide. How did it happen? In part, by briquetting rock mineral wool waste.

Thanks to the use of a RUF briquetter, waste from the company’s rock mineral wool plants was reduced to less than 800 grams per cubic meter, or 1.76 pounds per 1.31 cubic yards.

Knauf is well on its way to achieving zero waste to landfill, which the company has set as a goal by 2020. The company acknowledges that the progression toward zero waste sometimes involves slight increases at its plants in the United States and Turkey while new manufacturing equipment and processes used to reduce waste go online. Generally, Knauf plants in Europe have moved toward zero waste to landfill very effectively, according to the company.

Are you interested in learning how briquetting can help your operations reduce the waste being sent to landfills? If so, RUF Briquetting Systems can help. We have more than 40 years of experience creating briquetting machines that reduce waste, create efficiencies and even add revenue. Contact us today.