And finally… ‘World’s first’ plant for environmentally responsible asbestos disposal opens

And finally... 'World’s first' plant for environmentally responsible asbestos disposal opens

Wolverhampton-based Thermal Recycling has opened the world’s first plant of its type providing a socially and environmentally responsible alternative for asbestos disposal.

The company diverts asbestos away from landfill, converts it into a new material that does not contain asbestos, and produces a sustainable aggregate.

Graham Gould, chairman of Thermal Recycling, said: “Thermal Recycling is delighted to announce the opening of our demonstration plant. We can convert asbestos into asbestos-free material on an industrial scale, in a commercially viable and environmentally safe way. We can’t continue putting asbestos in landfill sites for future generations to deal with.”

Approximately 60% of asbestos taken to landfill is in the form of roof sheets. Removing asbestos roof sheets involves putting them in a skip and tipping the skip into a hole in the ground; this is not a safe or sustainable approach and until now there has been no alternative.

Thermal Recycling collects the asbestos and takes it to Wolverhampton where the pioneering treatment facility converts the cement roof sheets containing chrysotile asbestos. Thermal treatment changes the chemical and physical composition of the asbestos and the asbestos-free material is then crushed and a sustainable aggregate produced that is particularly useful for road building.

Kevin M Taylor FloR, president of the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC), said: “The NFRC welcomes this leading edge technology with the potential for a more sustainable approach to the disposal of asbestos. It is vital that we divert waste from landfill and reduce the number of sites containing asbestos.”

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