Efficient recycling of plastered bricks is a demanding challenge. A novel solution came from the partnership between ‘’Serfim recyclage’’ and ‘’Vicat Eco-valorisation’’. It won the 2017 Assises Speed Meetings Innovation Award in the Prevention and Recyclability category.
Serfim Recyclage – an independant waste management group from the Rhône-Alpes region – is conducting a plastered brick recycling project within a partnership with the French cement company Vicat. Those baked earth bricks, laid with plaster and coated on two faces with plaster finish, turn into a complex, neither inert nor pure plaster waste material after demolition. Landfilling in Non Hazardous Waste Storage Facilities (ISDND - Installation de Stockage de Déchets Non Dangereux) is therefore the solution to be favored… which Serfim does not wish to adopt.
The R&D project initiated by Serfim breaks down into two steps. The first step consists in separating the plaster (gypsum) portion from the baked earth. After that, turning baked earth into an inert waste is simple. The second step is to find a way to recycle the gypsum scraps that did not separate from the baked earth and which cannot be recycled into a plaster slab production process. With the purpose of achieving a reliable circular economy business Serfim contacted the cement company Vicat. Together, they checked that the gypsum thus recovered could be recycled in a cement production process.
Turning a complex waste material that is systematically landfilled into a BCI resource waste is what the Serfim/Vicat project aims to achieve, and this is especially promising as it concerns thousands of tonnes.
The first Waste Innovation Speed Meetings
Fully aware of the societal stakes and challenges associated with the domain of waste management and the circular economy, in 2017 the Assises des Déchets made the decision to take advantage of the media coverage they generate to foster initiatives and innovative projects in adequacy with the theme of the 14th Assises: "réduire, recycler, valoriser : tenir le cap !" (reducing, recycling, valorizing: staying the course!).
The objective of the Assises was not to challenge the existing competitions and awards, but rather to promote players, projects different sizes, and to submit them to the appreciation of a panel of professionals.
There were three categories: prevention and recyclability, societal initiatives, disruptive or digital technologies.