By Wallace Mawire
Zimbabwe is set to join the Geocycle model, a global waste management brand of LafargeHolcim, a move which is expected to see the country embarking on processes to address the challenges of waste disposal.
According to Sharmstha Nandi, a representative of LafargeHolcim Geocycle based in Switzerland, Geo means ‘earth’ in greek and cycle evokes recycling.
She said that the name Geocycle alludes to the ‘holistic’ nature of what their organization does, which is turning unusable waste into a safe, usable resource.
“By this, we contribute to a regenerative, circular economy that closes resource cycles and minimizes the wastage of scarce resources,” Nandi said.
Their vision is to work relentlessly to bring society a step closer to a zero-waste future.They do so by drawing on their long-standing, international expertise,leveraging on their extensive network of facilities and worldwide presence, embracing new ideas and developing innovative solutions and approaches to waste management.
Focusing on Zimbabwe’s waste management challenges, Nandi said that their organization was currently not providing co-processing solutions in the country and Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe would be a first mover in that regard.
According to Nandi, co-processing is a globally recognized technology through which waste is
treated in energy-intensive industries such as at cement manufacturing plants.She added that the technology is referred to as co-processing as the safe destruction of waste occurs parallel to the cement manufacturing process, at high temperatures and long residence time existing in cement kilns.
It is added that the co-processing capacity will enable the processing of both hazardous and non-hazardous waste.
Nandi said that beginning in 2021, LafargeHolcim would have a geochute ready to start the co-processing of waste at the Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe plant.
She gave examples of waste streams which would either be incinerated or taken to Pomona and Golden Quarry dumpsites when the initiative commences.She said that dump sites will be considered for co-processing.
Hazardous waste to be targeted include petroleum waste, tank botton sluge, used oil, contaminated fuel, oils, pharmaceutical waste, expired and treated seeds including pesticides.
Non-hazardous waste will include non-recyclable packaging material and expired products.She also said that biomass will also be targeted specifically highlighting saw-dust which she said is currently a menace in Manicaland province of the country.
According to Nandi, the benefits of co-processing compared to the most commonly used waste
management methods such as incineration and landfilling are reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and prevention of methane emissions.
It is reported that co-processing offers a high potential to reduce global carbon dioxide emissions.
“Without co-processing, the wastes would have to be incinerated or landfilled with corresponding greenhouse gas emissions,” she said.
She added that co-processing has been evaluated globally for more than 40
Years and is an approved technology by the Basel Convention for disposal of all kinds of hazardous and other wastes
She added that trials conducted in cement kilns spread across the world have confirmed that wastes do not impact the cement kiln emissions or the product in any adverse manner.She said that co-processing is fully recognized by many countries such as India, Mexico, Brazil, US and Europe, just to mention a few.
Some of the countries globally which are participating in the Geocycle network include United Arab Emirates, Philippines, India, Morocco and Mexico.
The Geocycle network has at least a global customer base of 10 000,80 pre-treatment facilities and at least over 180 co-processing facilities.