Management of MSW in Spain and recovery of packaging steel scrap

Hanan Tayibi, Carmen Peña, Félix A López, Aurora López-Delgado
Waste Management 2007, 27 (11): 1655-65
Packaging steel is more advantageously recovered and recycled than other packaging material due to its magnetic properties. The steel used for packaging is of high quality, and post-consumer waste therefore produces high-grade ferrous scrap. Recycling is thus an important issue for reducing raw material consumption, including iron ore, coal and energy. Household refuse management consists of collection/disposal, transport, and processing and treatment - incineration and composting being the most widely used methods in Spain. Total Spanish MSW production exceeds 21 million tons per year, of which 28.1% and 6.2% are treated in compost and incineration plants, respectively. This paper presents a comprehensive study of incineration and compost plants in Spain, including a review of the different processes and technologies employed and the characteristics and quality of the recovered ferrous scrap. Of the total amount of packaging steel scrap recovered from MSW, 38% comes from compost plants and 14% from incineration plants. Ferrous scrap from incineration plants presents a high degree of chemical alteration as a consequence of the thermal process to which the MSW is subjected, particularly the conditions in which the slag is cooled, and accordingly its quality diminishes. Fragmentation and magnetic separation processes produce an enhancement of the scrap quality. Ferrous scrap from compost plants has a high tin content, which negatively affects its recycling. Cleaning and detinning processes are required prior to recycling.

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