From Waste to Resource: How a Large Tile Manufacturer Was Enabled to Reuse Manufacturing Waste and Become More Sustainable

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There was an ongoing waste stream of slurry and marble cake from tile production at a tile manufacturing facility. The client was facing significant cost to dispose of the waste material in landfill. Environmental Earth Sciences International was engaged to develop the most cost-effective method of disposal and any options for reusing waste.

THE SOLUTION

As a means of lowering waste disposal costs for the client, the EESI team carried out a review of all material in accordance with the Resource Recovery Exemption Guidelines as set by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA). These guidelines allow certain materials that pose minimal risk to human health and the environment to be reused, rather than being disposed as waste.

The review of the waste slurry showed that the material was suitable for use as a liming agent for agricultural soils. Thus, the EESI team was able to apply for a Specific Exemption for the waste material on behalf of the client.

The application for the Exemption was implemented by characterising the waste and presenting a detailed description of the material and its benefits to agricultural land, as well as negotiation with the regulator in relation to establishing exemption-specific testing criteria.

THE BENEFITS

The Specific Exemption resulted in a cost effective outcome for the client as landfill disposal was no longer necessary. By characterising the waste in accordance with the EPA guidelines, EESI was able to determine a beneficial reuse of the waste product with a sustainable and long–term solution.

After the Exemption was granted, the client was able to send his material to farmers, resulting in a further benefit to the wider agricultural industry. Based on the waste investigations by Environmental Earth Sciences, the client was also able to alter some chemicals and processes applied during manufacture to improve the agricultural value of future product.

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