Working for a sustainable future

ENVIRONMENT

Commitment with the environment is one of the essential pillars of our performance. For this reason, Werba has been making significant investments to replace old recycling processes for novel methods using eco-friendly substances and elements.

In addition to regulating the consumption of finite raw materials and reducing the impact on environment, recycling metals contributes to saving energy considerably by reducing in situ metal mining and processing.

For example, the production of one ton of aluminum from recyclable material represents 95% of energy saving with respect to the energy needed for the same amount of aluminum obtained from bauxite.

Other metals represent an equally surprising energy saving percentage: 80% for lead; 75% for zinc; and approximately 70% for copper. By recycling non-ferrous metals, we can ensure the indefinite availability of raw materials for sustainable economic growth.

Reducing the carbon footprint in Uruguay and the World.

Each year, the global recycling industry processes more than 600 million tons of various materials. These “secondary” materials constitute 40% of global demand for raw materials.

Recycling non-ferrous metals with environmentally sustainable technologies is essential to protect the environment during the recovery process.

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Reducing the carbon footprint in Uruguay and the world

Obtaining products from recycled materials has numerous advantages from an environmental standpoint. The use of subproducts or recycled materials during the manufacturing process of new products may reduce costs and will generally require less energy, water and fewer natural resources compared to the manufacturing of products based on “virgin” raw materials.

Additionally, separating wastes and assigning them to their corresponding recycling process reduces the volume of wastes that would come into contact with the environment or that would be placed in disposal sites. Similarly, an adequate separation simplifies the collection, transport and further processing.

Furthermore, the recovery of metals during several stages of its lifecycle significantly reduces direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions. In general terms, 90% of energy is saved in the copper recovery process compared to processing virgin metal.

IN CONCLUSION, THE CARBON FOOTPRINT YIELDED BY THE METAL RECOVERY PROCESS IS SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER THAN THE CARBON FOOTPRINT YIELDED BY THE PROCESS OF MINERAL EXTRACTION. A SIMILAR CONCLUSION CAN BE REACHED FROM THE WATER FOOTPRINT.