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Essex based company-Windsor Integrated Services Group (WISG) has acquired technology that can be used to treat asbestos waste, turning it into an aggregate product to be used in construction.
The company offers services and products within the waste sector and the technology is said to set an example for managing asbestos waste worldwide.
The technology works by destroying fibres using a fluxing agent which breaks down the waste using a chemical reaction, and reduces the volume of material by 50-90%.
After this process a non-hazardous material similar to volcanic rock comes out which can then be used combines with other substances such as concrete as an aggregate product in construction. As the waste product is no longer hazardous it can be re-used.
Currently, asbestos waste containing more than 0.1% asbestos is classed as hazardous and dangerous. At present, by law asbestos waste should be double bagged and packed in approved packaging with a hazard sign and asbestos code. The bags should not be overfilled and moved in a sealed vehicle with a registered waste carrier to a licensed landfill site. As asbestos fibres are light they can be carried away into the air easily and be inhaled. Although asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral it cannot be recycled as normal due to its hazardous qualities and must be treated with care. More than 210,000 tonnes of asbestos containing material (ACM) is put into landfill in the UK yearly.
The cost of landfill presently is £80 per tonne, and the effects on the environment are detrimental. The asbestos removal contractors association (ARCA) are keen to see the more environmentally friendly and cost effective way of treating asbestos become a reality, stopping waste go to landfill and turning it into a recyclable product. The technology will be a move forward into a more sustainable approach to asbestos waste as well as a positive way in eradicating asbestos from the waste stream.
The firm has said that the technology should be up and running by Summer/Autumn 2016 in an unknown location in the UK, but they are looking at exploring licenses overseas and are in talks with 4 other countries to move the technology and scheme there.
WISG founder company Windsor Waste Management has a significant share of the UK asbestos disposal market collecting 15,000 tonnes of asbestos yearly.
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Published Feb 09, 2015