Remo Milieubeheer operates a state-of-the-art waste disposal facility for industrial waste in Belgium. This facility in Houthalen-Helchteren marked the start of Group Machiels’ recycling activities and is now a keystone of the Flemish government’s materials policy.
Remo puts the principle of cradle-to-cradle into practice: raw materials that have been previously used become the start of a new production circle. Remo already generates electricity and heat from stored waste. Electricity is generated from landfill gas that is extracted from the fermentation of previously stored domestic and similar waste. The vast majority of the electricity that is generated is returned to the grid, whilst some is used in Remo’s own facilities. The heat released during fermentation is captured and used to increase the yield of the in-house water treatment.
Remo also develops natural projects on the covered waste disposal sites in accordance with a protocol with the Flemish government.
The knowledge centre
With its applied methods and technologies for water treatment and green energy generation, Remo has become Group Machiels’ knowledge centre. The environmental practices and expertise developed here are rolled out to the entire group in Flanders and are also used at several sites in Chile.
Remo is also a pioneer of the view that a waste disposal site is actually a storage facility for valuable raw materials and energy. This philosophy underlies the Enhanced LandFill Mining (ELFM) concept that Group Machiels has developed along with other partners.
Closing the Circle
In a world first, Group Machiels intends to apply the ELFM concept in tangible form at the Remo site; the majority of the 18 million tonnes of historic domestic and industrial waste that is stored in separation and plasma gasification facilities will be transformed into reusable materials, high-quality building materials and sustainable, high-purity hydrogen. Only a minimal residual fraction will remain. Afterwards, the site will be turned into a sustainable nature reserve in a phased approach, as already systematically happens.
This project will therefore spearhead Group Machiels’ ‘Closing the Circle’ philosophy.