Holmen endeavours to minimise its quantity of waste and to utilise the highest proportion possible. Waste taxes and landfilling costs necessitate cost-effective management. Waste is separated into categories at all the units. Employees and contractors receive regular training in waste-handling procedures.
In 2018 Iggesund Mill applied for and was granted a permit for additional capping of the old industrial landfill on the mill’s own site. This means that the falling amounts of production waste will continue to be used as a construction material and no waste categories will be sent to landfill. Work is also under way to examine the possibility of using waste products from the mills to cap the old industrial landfill in Strömsbruk. 2018 saw the launch of an extensive project focused on future management of waste products, and the aim for 2019 is to draw up a plan for a sustainable solution to waste management.
Over 99 per cent of the Workington Mill's waste is recovered or recycled, and there is no process waste to landfill.
As far as possible, waste streams are segregated at source. For example, the bark removed from incoming roundwood logs is recovered and can be burned, the effluent cake is recovered for agricultural applications, and ash from the biomass boiler is also be recovered for agricultural use.
A local recycling company is contracted to ensure other types of waste are handled appropriately, whether it is paper waste generated in the offices or used parts from routine plant maintenance activities. Employees are trained in waste handling procedures as part of the mill's environment management system. All waste removed from site is recorded along with its destination.
Bark from the process is currently sold to external heating plants. This business has been continuously developed since the mill's own boilers were closed down.
Sludge arising from the mill's wastewater treatment is composted in-house to produce fibre soil reinforcement. The fibre soil reinforcement is mostly used externally for construction earth. Some of the product is also used to cap the mill's own landfill and for external burning.
The ash previously created when biofuels were burned at the mill has been stored and is used as a construction material to cap the mill's own landfill. The ash is used under the sealing layer.
Fibre sludge from the mill's water treatment plant is composted to make fibre soil reinforcement in partnership with Econova. The soil reinforcement is used as a raw material in soil manufacturing and partly replaces peat in soil production.
Bark from the process and other biofuels are used for energy recovery in Braviken's solid fuel boiler, which provides the mill and Braviken Sawmill with thermal energy. Some bark and shavings are also sold to external heating plants.
Ash from the combustion of biofuel is used as construction material in creating and maintaining operational areas at Holmen's own landfill site.
Waste arising in operations is sorted and recycled or sent for energy recovery. A very small proportion is sent to landfill.
The by-products/waste that arise in production can be classified into four categories:
Combustible by-products/waste that are mainly to generate thermal energy at the mills or in external heating plants.
Several projects have been carried out in recent years to find alternative uses for the by-products and waste that are produced. Some materials, for example sludge from wastewater treatment plants, can be used as a soil improver after treatment. Incinerator ash has been used as a road-building material and soil improver, and to cap landfills.
As a result of legislation and efforts to find alternative uses, the volume of waste sent to landfill has fallen to the point where, for many years now, it has accounted for less than 1 per cent of the by-products and waste generated by Holmen's operations.
Hazardous waste comprises materials such as waste oils, chemical residues and fluorescent tubes. Hazardous waste is dealt with by an authorised collection and recovery contractor. Certain fractions of the waste are recovered. Other fractions are destroyed under controlled conditions.
Oil-containing waste from docking ships is dealt with at port facilities at three Holmen mills. The waste is treated as hazardous waste.