Co-processing: a safe, more responsible solution

Waste is increasingly becoming an urgent challenge globally with existing solutions unable to offers long term sustainable results. The existing waste management solutions consume rather than conserve thus complicating the challenge. In Kenya, the situation is untenable considering that the main waste  management solution is dumping and landfilling both of which have a negative impact on people's health and the environment, in addition to consuming valuable and scarce land.

Bamburi Cement Ltd, taping from the expertise and knowledge within LafargeHolcim, provides an economical and sustainable solution to waste management challenge in the country. The solution employs globally accepted waste management systems and utilizes Bamburi Cement kilns to dispose waste  through co-processing.  Co-processing offers a superior environment solution based on the following;

  • High temperatures,
  • Excess oxygen and long residence time completely destroys waste materials that leaves no residue that needs to be landfilled. Residues react with other components to form the final product,
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions as waste is used to replace fossil fuels,
  • Preserves non-renewable fossil fuels and natural resources as the energy and mineral value of the waste materials are recovered.

To offer the waste  management service efficiently, in 2016 Bamburi Cement Ltd launched Geocycle brand in Kenya. Geocycle is a waste management organization owned by LafargeHolcim and its main objective is to recycle waste to energy that is then used to process raw material for cement plants with a promise of a zero waste future.

Geocycle team member instructs on packaging of rice husks


Sustainable Waste Management Solutions - recycling waste to Alternative Fuels

Bamburi Cement continues to work with various local industries to dispose their hazardous and non- hazardous industrial waste via co-processing. By disposing their waste in Bamburi Cement kilns, they are able to achieve zero-landfill policies thus contributing positively to the environment. Utilizing our Geocycle global network and expertise, we want to engage more companies in future to dispose their industrial waste.

Waste oil, if not well controlled and managed can be misused to adulterate fuel or be recycled and sold as contraband lubricants. Such actions have a devastating economic impact to the society and oil marketers. To have a sustainable solution on waste oil, Bamburi Cement entered into a contract with oil marketers through the Petroleum Institute of East Africa and launched the Safe Waste Oil Disposal initiative (SWOD) which is now fully operational and endorsed by National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).

Used oil collected and disposed at our plants since 2017 is as follows:

  • Year                                 Collection (Liters)
  • 2017                                  264,680
  • 2018                                  334,886
  • 2019                                  356,270

In September 2019 Bamburi Cement through Geocycle engaged in a rollout and awareness campaign on safe waste oil disposal by unveiling waste oil tanks and distributing them to Shell (oil marketer) service stations countrywide.

The Kenyan transportation system is dominantly by road thus it generates large quantities of used tyres. Previously, the disposal of tyres was through open burning thus emitting poisonous fumes. Bamburi Cement is working with local transporters to dispose used tyres through co- processing at our cement kilns. Every year, Bamburi Cement disposes of close to 5,000 tons of waste tyres at its Mombasa Plant, solving the environmental challenge and reducing the quantity of fossil fuels consumed in the cement making process. 

The community forms part of our environmental effort and utilising agricultural waste as a source of energy, while providing solutions to the community is part of our engagement. We continue to work with the community from Mwea irrigation scheme and Ahero irrigation scheme to collect and deliver rice husks to our Nairobi Grinding Plant in Athiriver. From Mwea we collect and utilize around 10,000 out of the 12,000 tons of rice husks produced every year. Rice husks are used as an alternative fuel substituting 60% of fossils fuels consumption at the Athiriver plant.

Finally, we continue to provide sustainable waste management solutions to industrial and service companies, the agriculture sector, the national government, municipalities, humanitarian bodies among others. We do so by closely collaborating with them to understand their specific requirements and construct tailored solutions. In 2019, Bamburi Cement in partnership with the United Nation World Food Program, Kenya Ports Authorities, the Kenya Bureau of Standards and Kenya Revenue Authority disposed of more than 5,000 tons of contaminated grains and counterfeit products that had been imported into the country. In addition, we are currently working with over 50 companies that include the informal sector, in the disposal of industrial waste.

Our waste management solutions achieve superior environmental performance to alternative solutions. We carry out our work in a professional manner drawing on our long-standing, international expertise, embracing new ideas and developing innovative solutions and approaches to waste management.

Tyres at the Mombasa Plant awaiting recycling
The tyres being fed in to the kiln at the Mombasa Plant