Updated: Jul 10
The Zero Waste Youth had the opportunity to visit the best recycling company in France. Do you wanna see what we found out?
Groupe Pena goal is to don't send material to landfills and incinerators. How is this possible, and if it is possible, why doesn't it happen in all places?
“The Earth is no longer the only source of raw materials.” - Marc PÉNA
In 1956 Gilbert Péna established the company specialized in metal recovery and bronze refining. In 1990, Marc Péna took control of his father's company and created Pena Group.
From then on, Marc developed the business to enable the recycling of as many materials as possible.
As a botanic passionate, Marc Péna named all technologies developed by himself after beautiful flowers' name:
Composting line that allows organic matter to be transformed into a fertiliser of excellence.
The composting plant was the first one that I visited. I have been very well received, with the maximum attention that they could give me, the same occurred in all the places where I visited in Bordeaux/FR.
The main advantage in the process developed by Marc is the time it takes to decompose the organic matter, besides the high quality control.
There is another important factor: it is included in it the compost sludge sewage treatment mixture! That is a super problematic waste, here we have the solution!
The Household refuse treatment line, that combines compost from pruning residue and household refuse, allows 85% recycling
The AROM Technology is in the same place as ADONIS and sometimes they are mixed.
A treadmill separates by vibration, air, and magnets the desired waste from the unwanted. Promoting the maximum use of all materials.
After that there is a perfect combination of all types of products to make the best compost. I was lucky to see one of PENA's truck arriving with drytoilet compost!
In order to reach the most diverse customers, each production has a specific goal, therefore a different composition to each one.
WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) treatment line with a recovery rate of 90%
Have you thought about separating each little piece from the WEEE and then grouping them together? This is what it is done in this process. With the aid of about twenty people, two specific tractors and a treadmill, that makes a process with vibration, air and magnetism.
Recovery solid fuel from recycling (CSR)
This stage targets the residues that passed through the wake of the two previous technologies (OSIRIS and AROM), but were not selected, and wastes from the textile industry without use.
The plastics with economical value are selected as well as all types of papers and metals. Each one directed to the buyer who will do their processing.
Materials that did not fit into any category enter in the treadmill to be re-selected and then crushed into very small pieces.
The final product is a high calorific fuel used in the cement manufacturing industry. This product is the only one produced that doesn't have a market. Therefore, whenever possible they will be innovating for the improvement and greater comprehensiveness of the previously mentioned processes.
I am very happy to have witnessed this incredible project, as well as the people who work on it with so much love.
I thank Mr. Marc Péna, his family and his team for hosting me as if they had known me for years. It was undoubtedly a milestone in my life as much as this partnership a milestone for the Zero Waste Youth movement.
Author: Camila Lucena
Social & Environmental Activist
Yoga teacher for kids