EGA marks Global Recycling Day after reaching highest-ever levels of recycling last year

EGA’s recycled almost 140,000 tonnes of industrial waste in 2019, up 36 per cent on 2018, although regular waste generation decreased

United Arab Emirates, 18 March 2020: Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the United Arab Emirates outside oil and gas, today marked Global Recycling Day and announced that the company’s recycling of industrial waste increased by more than a third last year to almost 140,000 tonnes, whilst regular waste generation decreased.

EGA’s long-term aspiration is to send zero process waste to landfill, and the company focuses on reducing waste generation in its operations as well as developing opportunities for unavoidable waste to be used as feedstock for other industries.

Waste generation decreased by five per cent, excluding spent pot lining. Generation of spent pot lining varies because it is generated only when reduction cells require re-lining after several years of operation.

EGA is a world leader in the recycling of spent pot lining, one of the largest by-product streams from aluminium smelting. In 2019 EGA sent 46,696 tonnes of spent pot lining to UAE cement plants for use as an alternative fuel and raw material, an increase of 13 per cent on 2018.

EGA also recycled some 28,000 tonnes of another by-product, carbon fines, by supplying it to the cement industry as an alternative fuel.

Salman Abdulla, Executive Vice President of Environment, Health, Safety, Sustainability and Quality at EGA said: “Global Recycling Day is a good opportunity to focus on our goal - reducing waste generation, and finding ways to turn the waste we cannot eliminate into economically-useful products in partnership with other industries. We have more to do, but we are making great progress towards achieving this goal which is important for the sustainability of our business and our country.”

EGA is also working to find economically-viable uses for bauxite residue, a by-product of alumina refining. Although for decades academic research has been conducted on potential uses, most bauxite residue produced worldwide is still stored indefinitely as waste.

EGA’s research is focusing on large-scale applications for bauxite residue in the UAE, and success would be a global breakthrough for the aluminium industry.