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Consumable materials and the management of waste produced by A2A

A2A’s business involves using consumable materials and leads to the internal production of waste. From energy production up to the distribution of drinking water, A2A does its utmost not only to use materials compatible with the environment but also to ensure that these may, where possible, also be recycled and therefore in part reused.
An example of this is the active carbons used in the water services as part of the treatment of drinking water. In 2011, for example, Aspem regenerated around 80% of the active carbon used to purify water (30.5 tonnes of carbon moved in total in 2011).
Another example is the use of the inert material arising from the biostabilisation of waste for the daily covering of a landfill, instead of earth or gravel, with the advantage of limiting the extraction of these materials from the environment: around 20,000 tonnes of “recycled” covering were used at the Barengo landfill alone.

The waste produced by the Group is managed with the aim of maximising amounts sent for recovery (see attachments: “The numbers of the environment”). Among the main examples are the following:

  • the ashes and chalk deriving from the purification of the fumes at the Monfalcone thermoelectric power station, used in the cement and building industry;

  • the residues after burning in the waste to energy plants are used in part as consolidation material for spent rock-salt quarries, in part as a substitute for gravel for covering landfills and in part in the cement and building industry. Before being sent to these destinations, iron and non-ferrous metals (aluminium and copper) are firstly extracted and recovered.

Other waste that is recovered mainly consists of iron, electric cables, packaging, plastic and wood. A2A is studying and testing technological solutions for producing inert materials from the fly ash produced from the waste to energy treatment of solid waste. Further details may be found in the paragraph “Research and innovation for the environment” (and in particular the caption relating to the COSMOS project).

The total proportion of waste produced by the Group and sent for recovery in 2011 was 54%.