"There is no waste, only resources"

22 May 2023


Civil EngineeringPublic

"There is no waste, only resources"

For many years, Felix Giorgetti has been committed to a policy of sustainable development in order to minimise the impact of our activities on the environment. The acquisition of a crusher in 2020 is the logical continuation of a circular economy approach already applied on many occasions. A concrete solution with many advantages.

Construction represents 1/3 of the waste produced by a country. This ratio is not inevitable, on the contrary, and Félix Giorgetti intends to reduce it. "We have to be aware that we are big consumers of materials, but if we adopt good practices, both at our logistics centre and on our building sites, and even in the design of our buildings, we can significantly reduce our carbon footprint," explains Alex Giorgetti.

According to our head of logistics centre and process optimisation, part of the answer lies in the way we perceive this 'waste'. "We need to change our approach and see it as a secondary resource. If we are working with good materials, then why not use them?"

a financial and environmental benefit

That's why in 2020, Felix Giorgetti acquired a major ally: a crusher, a Kleemann produced in Germany, in order to develop our approach to the environment and the circular economy.

"Before, we used to rent," says Alex Giorgetti. But we only did so when we had more than 5,000 tonnes of material to process. Transporting a crusher requires a lot of logistics. Its transport requires a special convoy, a truck and two accompanying cars, with permits. It takes a day to set up and a day to dismantle. In the end, it is expensive. For small quantities, it was more interesting to evacuate the materials or to transport them to a neighbouring site."

Crushing is also a way of overcoming the lack of landfill sites in the country, which is one of the major concerns of our sector. "Having a crusher is certainly an investment, but in the long run it is a financial and environmental advantage. When you have good rock, why travel miles to dispose of it? If we evacuate less rubble, we emit less CO2. Our drivers lose less time on the road and in the queues at the dump, and they return empty. That's why we have set up a central resource centre strategically located between Cents and Sandweiler."

Sorting for recycling

Only three years after the purchase of the Kleemann, the results are already very satisfactory. In 2022, 300,000 tonnes of material were crushed, "only on the Félix Giorgetti sites. If we extrapolate this to the Luxembourg market, it represents several million tonnes that we could recycle. That's huge! "says Alex Giorgetti

Constantly evolving

The crusher is just a first step, and Alex Giorgetti is already thinking about other avenues that could be developed in-house.

"We are not innovators, but there are innovations that we would like to test. The Scandinavian or Swiss approaches in terms of construction and sustainability may be interesting for Luxembourg. In Switzerland, we can already produce concrete made of 75% secondary materials. In the future, we could even consider 100% reusable concrete, which would have a considerable impact on the use of resources. In Sweden, due to unfavourable weather conditions, builders have had to adapt and 80% of the buildings are prefabricated. These examples illustrate the importance of continuous change.

Every action counts

In the meantime," he concludes, "it is important that everyone invests in sorting, that the instructions are given, that everyone understands the role they have to play. Every gesture counts."