Multivalorisation: increasing waste recovery in regions

© SUEZ / P. Aimar / CAPA Pictures

Valtom, the syndicate of municipalities in the Puy-de-Dôme and the north of the Haute-Loire departments in France, has co-built a new multi-process household waste recovery centre with SUEZ on a single site. It is called Vernéa. The goal is to increase material recycling and biological and energy reuse in the region.

© Jérôme Meyer-Bisch / SUEZ

The non-recyclable household waste is separated into two categories by a mechanical sorting unit (1): the so-called “wet” waste, i.e., organic residues, is sent to a biological stabilisation platform (2), and then to a storage centre. The so-called “dry” waste, with a high calorific value, is sent to the energy recovery unit (3), along with the large non-reusable objects.

The latest-generation energy recovery unit generates the 120,000 MWh required to provide lighting for the 70,000 inhabitants and to cover all the centre’s own energy needs. The solid residue collected from the energy recovery incinerator is sent to the treatment platform (4). Ferrous and non-ferrous metals are extracted for reuse in the iron and steel industry, while the slag is reused as back-fill for roads.

The biological recovery unit recovers green waste (grass cuttings, branches) and the biowaste that is collected in the brown dustbins. This treatment unit uses composting (5) and methanation (6) processes to produce 6,500 tonnes of compost per year, which is then spread on local farmland, and 11,000 MWh of biogas. The biogas is then transformed into electricity in the energy recovery unit (3). The digestate from the methanation process is recovered by the composting platform.

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