Assuring Sustainability: today more than yesterday! At a time when the world has increasingly limited natural resources, it is important to review our habits and search more ecological and sustainable solutions.
The natural stone industry generates a large volume of stone waste. It is classified in various forms such as powder or fines, aggregates, larger stone pieces and cobbles, damaged blocks or slabs.
Scrap stone can create undesirable visual impact as well as dangerous working conditions if it is not well organized or if piles are allowed to be stacked carelessly.
Due to the huge amounts of stone waste generated in generation sources and plants, vast sums of money spent in its transportation to landfills. Besides the accumulation of waste in landfills is also a pressing problem for many businesses, from an economic perspective. Further, if waste must be disposed of off-site, landfill fees can create additional cost.
LSI Stone have done a small case study of the alternatives for the waste resulting from the exploration and stone processing, more specifically limestones.
Below we introduce the 10 best practices and sustainable ideas for the use of limestone waste generated by the processing operations:
The production of cement, usually white, is another alternative for the route of our waste. It is usually more associated with the “paste” resulting from the stone process, than the stone itself.
A simple and smart way to reuse stone waste is to create massive bricks with a rustic finish. Aesthetically it can give a wonderful look to a wall, very different from the traditional wall. It has numerous advantages; requires less maintenance, have greater durability, and it is easier to apply and build. It is a more resistant product than the traditional brick, and we can reuse a natural product with no transformation. The image below shows a wall in our company, built by us.
Depending on the method of production and application of tar, used by road builders, limestone can be used in the construction of it. Thus avoiding further excavations to obtain a raw material that is already available in a large majority of stone companies. With this, companies can reduce costs, avoiding the landscape destruction of a new location and, consequently, a reduction of the CO2 emission that all this process of extraction and transport would imply.
Another smart way to give a new life to waste is through the production of glass, which in some circumstances is used limestone.
Incredible as it may seem, limestone can be used to give pigmentation to the most diverse products that we all have in our homes. Products like paper, plastic, toothpaste, paints, tiles, often use limestone to give a lighter color to the final product.
In the construction, it is often necessary to use other materials to flatten the surface of the place where the construction will be carried out. Limestone waste can be used as a cheaper and equally effective fill.
Soil Acidity Conditioner
The huge amounts of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere generate serious consequences on the environment, one of them are acid rain. These to fall on the soil makes them unsuitable for cultivation, with an acidic Ph. Pulverized limestone is used as soil acidity conditioner, serving to balance the Ph and reactivates it.
Limestone has a very important function in animal breeding, more particularly in granivorous birds, such as chickens. These animals usually ingest small stones in order to help crush the food in the digestion process, avoiding certain animal health problems, which will consequently decrease the occurrence of deaths.
Source of Calcium
The purification of limestone allows added it to foods, present in our daily life, such as bread or cereals, it is an important source of calcium. It contributes to our health by helping to control blood acidity, hormone level or blood clotting, and also to strengthen our bones.
Finally, limestone can be used for remineralizing and increase the alkalinity of purified water to prevent pipe corrosion and to restore essential nutrient levels.
Benefits of proper waste management
- Improved health and safety: decreasing the number of scrap piles, airborne particulates, and general trash creates a healthier and safer environment for employees.
2. Reduces storage, transport and disposal costs: with less waste to store and transport, the costs of handling waste are diminished. Landfill fees are avoided and combustible expenses are reduced.
3. Potential generation of revenue: scrap stone and other waste products and waste by products can be sold on an array of markets, from agriculture to construction, creating a secondary company revenue stream.
4. Increased efficiency: decreasing the amount of material lost during the quarrying, crushing and cutting processes increases company efficiency and the quantity of profitable product. In effect, the company sees a heftier return for every ton of product sold.
5. Enhancement of company reputation: comprehensive, proactive waste management practices can result in not only a socially responsible reputation but in greater community acceptance of the quarrying operation.