Indaver and Sleco are continuing the fight against contaminants

Fireworks are great for celebrating, but Indaver would rather not see rockets at its sites. Nonetheless fireworks and other contaminants frequently end up in the waste Indaver receives for treatment. At the Doel site, Indaver and Sleco have run a great many campaigns to try to prevent this from happening. In 2016, we will be stepping up the fight against contaminants. In doing so, we hope to avoid unwanted situations and unplanned plant stoppages as much as possible.

Contaminants cause problems for the plant and the staff

Contaminants are materials that don’t belong in the waste that Indaver and Sleco treats at their incineration facilities in Doel. Contaminants are found in the solid waste and sludge that is delivered. An example of the contaminants found in solid waste include pressurised containers such as butane and propane gas bottles and fire extinguishers; but also fireworks, cables and even white and brown goods. If these types of contaminants end up in the plant, they can lead to unwanted situations.

To ensure smooth treatment of the sludge that is delivered it is essential that it is not contaminated with other waste products. These contaminants in the sludge block the pumps thus causing operational problems that result in loss of production time and unsafe situations for staff. That is why it is essential for the sludge to be stored carefully on the client’s premises and to be transported in a way that prevents contamination.

Sifting waste every day

At the Doel site we undertake a number of measures to remove contaminants from waste. Our own staff are very well informed of the acceptance criteria for the waste. The staff on the tipping-floor are given extra training to help them recognise hazardous substances more quickly. Panels with pictures and written information help the drivers who deliver the waste to identify contaminants. We also carry out regular spot checks on the waste that is delivered. Improvements have also been made to the plant. The solid waste products for the fluidised bed incinerator go to a pre-treatment facility first, where they are broken down into smaller pieces and any iron is removed, before they go to the waste bunker. In the shredder there are extensive provisions for fire detection and extinguishing. 

In spite of all of these measures, contaminants sometimes still slip through the net. That is why we are also pulling out all the stops to inform people and raise awareness.

Raising drivers and customers’ awareness

We have to continue raising drivers’ and customers’ awareness if we want to find less contaminants in the waste. In June 2015 we launched a targeted awareness campaign about contaminants in sludge. The drivers that deliver sludge and filter cakes, were given a flyer providing clear information about what is and isn’t allowed and about the impact of contaminants on staff and production. 

Commercial Services informed customers and transport companies once again about the acceptance criteria via a mail out and in person. In the near future, customers will also be invited to attend an on-site information session about the consequences of contaminants in waste and how they can prevent it. The number of interventions for contaminants peaked in the spring of 2015, but after this targeted awareness campaign, we managed to change the trend to around four interventions a month. 

Message after every incident

In 2015, Indaver and Sleco started to send out quality information (quality tweets) after every incident. These are short and succinct messages that we distribute both internally and externally. They describe the type of contaminant that has been found in the waste, what risks this could incur for the staff and the plant, which measures have been taken in the past and how the customer or transport firm can work with us to find a solution.

The combined approach of providing information and raising awareness is very effective, so we will continue doing it, with a view to putting an end to contaminants. 

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