Alcoa recognises the broader community’s efforts in reducing waste to landfill and has since 1993 challenged employees to reduce their waste through reuse and recycling.
Waste at the mines is generated from production, maintenance and administration activities and a Mining Waste Management Program is in place to ensure:
• Compliance with all applicable waste management legislation;
• Recycling and reuse of waste products is maximised therefore reducing the volume of materials being disposed to landfill; and
• The waste management focus is changed from reactive (reuse, recycle) to pro-active (reduce or eliminate waste
Wastes at the mines fit into three categories:
- products that can be recycled or reused;
- products that can be sent to the Pinjarra Refinery worm farm; or
- products that go to landfill.
Recycling programs are in place for steel, timber, 250 litre drums, oil and air filters, batteries, gloves, hard hats, oil absorbent materials and plastics.
All food scraps and organic material are sent to Alcoa’s worm farm at the Pinjarra Refinery and the remaining non-recyclable wastes are disposed to the refinery landfills.
The Waste Management Program at the mines includes:
• Procedures, systems and training to ensure correct segregation and disposal of waste;
• Recording systems to facilitate reporting and to monitor performance;
• Self assessment audits to check the effectiveness of internal waste management systems;
• Procedures to identify and manage hazardous wastes; and
• Audits of waste disposal contractors to ensure appropriate environmental, health and safety practices are being applied and legal requirements are being met.
In addition, an Alcoa Waste Reduction Team meets on a regular basis to drive continuous improvement in waste minimisation and management.
Many improvements have been implemented to date with the current focus for the mines on investigating options to recycle wooden pallets.
Options to reduce packaging of products delivered to the mines through liaison with suppliers and review of contract conditions are also being investigated.