Russian Federation aluminium giant UC Rusal this week announced a new strategy for the management of its industrial waste that will ultimately have none of it ending up in landfills.
The “zero waste to landfill” approach, which the firm admits is a steep target, is where the firm intends to be by the end of the current decade. Rusal says the goal is achievable by using the best available technology as well as phasing in new utilization, recycling, and sales methods.
Rusal hopes that such a strategy will yield at least a 95-percent reuse rate for its aluminium and silicon production by 2030. Such a rate would be a 20-percent increase over current levels, notes the firm. It is also aiming at a 65-percent reuse rate for its alumina production, which would be 2.5 times better than its baseline usage from 2020.
Irina Bakhtina, Rusal’s Chief Sustainability Officer, said in a press release that the firm’s goal is to establish a closed-cycle system.
“RUSAL puts a priority on minimizing the industrial waste generation and ensuring that waste is returned to a closed economic cycle – reuse or recycling within our own production or in other industries.”
Rusal says it will pay especial attention to safe operations of its 38 waste disposal facilities (WDF), beginning with environmental monitoring at each plant. It plans to assess each unit individually through 2025 to determine whether those operations can be reliably and safely operated.
Currently Rusal says it sends over two thirds of its production waste to recycling facilities, aside from bauxite and nepheline residue and overburden. The firm notes that not only is this activity beneficial for the environment, but it also enhances Rusal’s bottom line.