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Storage and pre-treatment

The chain of operations leading from the production of waste to its recovery or disposal is not a continuous chain; transition from one stage to the next, whether within the company, at the time of transport or outside the company, often requires storage. This storage notably allows the collection of waste by homogenous category and quantity, which contributes to optimising process costs. 2Storage within the company2 Waste storage within the company before disposal must comply with certain requirements. Solid ordinary waste should be stored in a waterproof and protected area to prevent it from being carried away by rainwater or the wind.

Liquid waste should be stored in watertight containers to avoid leakage. Retention tanks limit the risks associated with accidental runoff or incidents during transfer.

The choice of packaging equipment should be adapted to the duration of storage, handling conditions and transport.

Within an industrial zone, the grouping of companies enables better efficiency and savings in terms of waste storage and management. Selective waste collection common to all companies of the site carried out by a single provider contracted based on jointly established specifications generally guarantees the best economic conditions. This collection can also be combined with a corporate waste drop-off centre managed by the same provider.

For the deposit of toxic or hazardous substances and preparations, the following should be complied with:

  • distance from certain activities or types of building,
  • access to fire and emergency services,
  • minimum retention capacity,
  • access exclusively restricted to authorised persons,
  • labelling of product danger level,
  • fire fighting resources,
  • limited amount of storage,
  • movement and incident monitoring procedures etc.

Sorting this special industrial waste at source is compulsory, as treatment, disposal and recovery processes do not allow a mixture, which can often be hazardous. 2Non-hazardous waste transfer and sorting centres2 The distance between collection places and treatment facilities is sometimes significant; transfer centres are set up to reduce the nuisances and costs associated with transport and optimise the use of collection equipment.

Depending on the local recovery possibilities, sorting centres enhance the separation of recyclable household waste already subject to selective waste collection and/or company waste in order to produce homogenous batches matching the specifications of specialised companies. 2Main types of centres:2

  • Transfer centres: Waste is stored temporarily in order to be regrouped with other streams on the platform. These facilities process waste batches collected in a geographical area distant from treatment centres in order to optimise transport costs from this platform to the treatment centre. Collection resources and sometimes modes of transport on the one hand, and transport to the treatment centre on the other, are different.
  • Household waste sorting centres: Waste from selective collection requires additional sorting of varying intensity in order to extract homogenous streams of materials, therefore facilitate recovery by specialised companies (reuse, material recycling or energy recovery). These materials are generally repackaged to optimise storage and transport costs (baled for example).
  • Non-hazardous industrial waste sorting centres: Waste is sorted according to local recovery potential. It is then repackaged into homogenous batches matching the specifications of recycling companies. Repackaging techniques include the crushing and baling of the materials. 2Hazardous waste collection and pre-treatment platforms2 The same considerations apply to hazardous waste, all the more so as the quantities are generally lower. Specialised transfer centres are set up.

The choice of the different platforms used is linked to the quantity and unit packaging of each type of waste collected, waste classification, potential hazard and logistical aspect of the collection:

  • unit quantity of each category of waste collected (in bottles, cans, barrels or pallets): the necessary formation of sufficiently significant homogenous batches using waste from other collection sources,
  • classification: necessary waste preparation to make it suitable for the selected treatment process,
  • hazard level: special packaging required so the waste can be admitted to a treatment unit without any risk of reaction with other waste,
  • waste requiring preparation modifying its physical appearance or chemical characteristics,
  • distance from the collection area to the treatment facility requiring different vehicles, regrouping of several batches to optimise collection and/or transport costs. 2Main types of platforms:2
  • Transit facility: A transit facility can have a storage or waste collection function with a view to disposal in a treatment centre or storage facility.
  • Collection facility: Waste is stored temporarily and can be mixed with other waste from different origins but with a similar or compatible nature. The treatment process of the mixture is the same as that of each of the different types of waste taken separately before mixing.
  • Pre-treatment facility: Waste undergoes an operation modifying its chemical composition and/or physical characteristics, the pre-treated waste treatment process being generally different from that of each of the different types of waste taken separately before mixing.