Strzeblowskie Mines of Mineral Resources operates based on Zero Waste slogan. No side products of extracted raw materials are disposed of, only utilized.
The SKSM's production of ceramic materials from scrap ceramic sanitary products (both used products and production waste), preceded by the implementation of innovative milling technology, is a significant breakthrough in the management of this waste, usually directed to landfills and constituting a significant financial burden for producers due to the compulsion to pay for its storage. This is due to the lack of a line for processing ceramic scrap in most plants. The real possibility of reusing ceramic cullet is created by the new technology of burning sanitary products, the so-called fine fireclay (FFC). This technology allows the production of very large sizes ceramic products and any shape, with their relatively low weight. The use of ceramic cullet in this process reduces the risk of piroplastic deformation and cracks. The introduction of feldspar dust from cullet of ceramic sanitaryware by SKSM is of significant importance for producers of sanitary products struggling with the problem of waste management. The management of non-biodegradable sanitary waste will help reduce their quantity in landfills, and will also reduce the amount of incurred fees. This is also of key importance from the point of view of protecting the dwindling domestic resource base of mineral deposits and extending the prospect of its use. In addition to ceramic sanitary products, the proposed feldspar dust from the recycling of sanitary products could also be used as an ingredient in ceramic tiles,
The value of innovative investments in years 2003-2019 is estimated to amounts to 43,7 mln PLN, from which 15,4 mln PLN is co-financed by EU.
The company employs 123 staff.
Evidence of success
● 700 000 tons per year of mining materials;
● 7 production lines with 45 products in portfolio;
● dusting and sprinkling installations, installation of a water recycling system in the scavenging system, anti-noise protection;
● experience gained through many years of operating (the mine was established in 1908).
Potential for learning or transfer
Feldspar dust from recycled scrap sanitary products is a product with full suitability for use in modern ceramic technologies, which include FFC (fine fireclay). It may be a complement to the composition of the raw material of the ceramic content, acting as a raw material, reducing the sensitivity of the products to deformation during thermal processing. The FFC technology allows to obtain ceramic sanitary products of very large sizes, large flat surfaces and original shapes, which was not possible using other firing methods. The appearance of this type of product can stimulate not only sanitaryware production plants for technological or formula changes, but also other ceramic industry plants to use waste from their own production as a cheap substitute of raw materials from primary sources.