Total E&P UK’s (TEP UK) annual Environment Day carried a “zero waste to landfill” theme in 2011 to reinforce the efforts made to further the company’s widespread waste management practices. In essence waste sent to landfill is being reduced as far as practicable with virtually all waste that cannot be recycled or composted going to waste-to-energy schemes like combined heat and power projects. Drinking cups and food packaging are all made from biodegradable vegetable matter so that this waste stream can be composted. The company has introduced waste management as a key performance indicator with performance based on random audits of waste skips. The company has set a target of 80% “waste segregation efficiency” to ensure that little, if any, recyclable waste is included with general waste. Actual performance in 2011 was 77.9%.
A good example of the “zero waste to landfill” philosophy is the project to compost all food waste in special temperature-controlled biodigesters. This recycling activity began at the St Fergus Gas Terminal in 2010. To add even greater sustainable value, St Fergus purchases the resulting high quality compost and donates it to nearby social enterprise, Willowbank Day Centre. The compost is used to grow bedding plants which are then sold in the local community. The composting scheme has been so successful that during 2011 it was adopted across all of the company’s onshore offices.
St Fergus continued to pioneer waste management projects in 2011. In order to promote the re-use of packaging and reduce waste, St Fergus reached an agreement with its facilities management contractor to ensure that all food and beverage packaging is removed from the site by its two major suppliers. St Fergus strong waste management performance was recognised with the Total Group’s Health Safety and Environment Award for environmental performance. The award recognised in particular the work of the Environmental Focus Team and the facilities management contractor’s waste segregation activities.
Total UK maintained its waste management drive throughout 2011 in spite of the major changes in its operations and office environment resulting from restructuring and sale of assets. The amount of waste recycled in the Watford offices remained more than 90%. Total Gas & Power staff in London, Leeds and Redhill were once again successful in increasing the recycling of waste materials.
Lindsey Oil Refinery (LOR) also continued its trend of increasing waste recycling. The refinery recycled 3,287 tonnes of waste, compared with 2,875 tonnes the previous year; the proportion of the overall waste recycled also improved, from 52% in 2010 to 58% in 2011. The performance was even more striking when set against the corresponding figures for 2009: 849 tonnes recycled (19% of the total waste stream). LOR continued to use thermal desorption processing whenever practicable to dispose of sludge waste and produce recovered oil and a dry residue for reuse as aggregate in concrete. The recycling performance was also helped by the transformation of spent amine waste into fuel for energy. In addition to recycling wood, paper, cardboard and metals, LOR also made use of oily waste recovered from centrifuge operations.
Within our chemical businesses, Total Petrochemicals maintained its high rate of recycling. In 2011 recycled waste represented almost 90% of the total amount of non-hazardous waste produced on site. The company has, as its objective, the elimination of all waste sent to landfill. A new flash distillation unit which came on stream in 2011, significantly reduced the amount of hazardous waste removed by road tanker for incineration. The amount of hazardous waste treated offsite, at 295 tonnes, was some 17 tonnes less than in 2010. Further reductions are expected in 2012. A compactor was also installed to reduce the volume of packaging material, treated as hazardous waste, needing treatment off-site. The compactor means that the palletised waste is now requiring about four and a half times less lorry movements than hitherto with resultant benefits for the environment and the site’s carbon footprint.
Bostik achieved further improvements in 2011 with overall waste production falling to 2,245 tonnes (2,637 tonnes in 2010) and the amount of recycled waste rising to 632 tonnes (559 tonnes in 2010). As a result of fewer clean-outs and purgings, the amount of hazardous waste was reduced by 15 tonnes in 2011.
Following improvements in the handling of non-hazardous liquid waste in a number of process areas, some 50 tonnes of waste was saved. All label backing paper, aluminium off cuts and reel-ends are now recycled by contractor.
Atotech significantly increased both the overall amount of waste recycled and the proportion of its total waste going to recycling. Much of these increases resulted from the recycling of metal resulting from site refurbishment and scrap removal, and the one-off recycling of paper following the updating of the company’s archive paper store. Greater recycling has also been achieved by the introduction of a co-mingle waste bin and plastic cups being replaced with employees’ own washable mugs.
Pamargan took a number of steps to increase its waste recycling performance. As a result the amount of recycled waste in 2011 rose 12% compared with 2010. During 2011 Pamargan introduced schemes for the removal of waste rubber by a rubber recovery company, the removal by specialist contractors of low level contaminated waste that had previously gone to permitted landfill, improved waste segregation and more stringent recycling of cardboard and plastic.
Sovereign Chemicals both lowered its overall waste production and increased its recycled waste with the result that 40.5% of the company’s waste was recycled in 2011 – well ahead of its target of more than 34%. Apart from segregating waste into recyclable streams, the company is careful to reuse water and white spirit used for cleaning tanks and other vessels.