China - Replacing fossil fuels with household waste

Zunyi

Cement/China

In China, Lafarge offers a waste disposal solution to the city of Zunyi, in Guizhou province, burning the household waste from this city of 800,000 people to manufacture its cement.

 

Objectives

  • Contribute to the local authorities' environmental protection policy
  • Provide a safe, easy-to-implement solution for the management of waste from the local community
  • Replace the fossil fuel required to manufacture cement with alternative fuels available in large quantities
  • Reduce the quantities of CO2 released during cement manufacturing
  • Optimize cement manufacturing costs

Summary

Lafarge signed a partnership agreement with the city of Zunyi in Guizhou province, south-west China, for the recovery of household waste. Under the terms of this agreement, we recover the fuel portion of the city's household waste and burn it as alternative fuel in our local Sancha cement plant. We also use waste already landfilled over a 10 year period, through "landfill mining". This has allowed us to replace a proportion of the fossil fuels used at our Sancha plant and also provides a valuable service to the local community.
The city of Zunyi was looking for a solution to process its increasing quantities of waste. We were about to start up our new Sancha cement plant and were looking to secure a stable fuel supply. The partnership agreement that we signed with the municipality was therefore a ‘win-win'!

Results

Lafarge recovers 25% of the waste produced each day by the city of Zunyi. This offers a safe and environmentally sound disposal route for the city's household waste. It has also allowed a significant reduction in coal consumption at our local plant, as municipal waste now accounts for around 12% of total fuel consumption.
Finally, the project has created 40 jobs, at an existing sorting facility that we decided to use to retrieve recoverable materials - mainly plastic packaging.