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Disidrat: the plant that gives waste a new lease of life

Opening of the Ravenna sludge treatment plant, one of the biggest in Europe. The new plant will double the volume of material recovered, thus decreasing the amount of waste put into landfill

To extract value from sludge whilst helping to protect the environment: that is the ambitious objective of Disidrat, the industrial-sludge treatment plant inaugurated in Ravenna this morning. The plant's opening was attended by Sebastiano Serra, Head of the Environment Ministry's Technical Department, Fabrizio Matteucci, Mayor of Ravenna, Claudio Casadio, President of the Province of Ravenna, and Tomaso Tommasi di Vignano, Hera's Chairman.

Obtaining reusable material from sludge and minimising the amount of waste put into landfill
Located 2.6 km from the Statale Romea trunk road, Disidrat will replace a similar plant (which was smaller and less environmentally friendly) a few kilometres away, which will be subject to a structured environmental-redevelopment plan.
The plant, which is managed by Herambiente (a Hera Group company dedicated to waste treatment and disposal), will operate under an Integrated Environmental Authorisation, treating around 150,000 tonnes of special, hazardous and non-hazardous, liquid and solid waste, known collectively as “sludge”. Thanks to the sophisticated technologies used, a large proportion of the material going into the plant will be able to be recovered and reused as landfill cover (as a substitute for plant material) or as consolidation material for mines (to fill the underground cavities left by mining). The total amount of material recovered through this process, which is currently around 25% at the old Disidrat plant, may therefore almost double, resulting in a significant reduction in the volume of waste put into controlled landfills.
Attachment 1 provides a detailed description of the industrial treatment process. Further information can be found online at Herambiente's new website: www.gruppohera.it/herambiente.

A leader at European level
The plant, which took 24 months to build and involved total investment of Euro 13 million, is among the European leaders in its sector thanks to the range of waste it can treat, its size and the technology it uses. Disidrat is also of strategic importance within Herambiente's plant infrastructure, since it will add to the services provided by Herambiente's industrial facilities in Ravenna, which already have considerable plant resources dedicated to the environment, including a chemical/physical plant, landfills, waste-to-energy plants and the treatment plant for industrial waste water that services the Ravenna Petrochemical District.
By way of proof of the plant's international importance, Germany's Remondis, one of the world's leading environmental-services companies, will also be involved in its running.

The highest environmental- and operational-safety standards
The plant was built using the best technologies available on the market, whilst fully respecting the environment. Above all, protection of the water table and the ground on which the plant stands was ensured by waterproofing the entire area covered by the plant with a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) sheet.
Three suction and air treatment plants, allowing six air changes per hour, for six phases of the process, ensure that odours and emissions are kept to a minimum. A watertight HDPE drainage system has also been constructed to collect water from the processing areas and send it to the adjacent chemical/physical treatment plant. Lastly, the design of the structure took into account its acoustic impact, which has been minimised using dedicated solutions in order to comply with the applicable regulations.

Commitment to certifications
Some of Disidrat's fellow plants have already been awarded the ISO 14001 certification for environmental management, EMAS registration and the OHSAS 18001 certification for safety. Herambiente is expecting to obtain these certifications for the new plant opened today starting from this year.

Environment Minister: “a plant that brings us closer to Europe”
“A plant like this one brings Italy closer to European best practices”, said Environment Minister Corrado Clini. “It shows that it is both necessary and possible to invest in order to build a widespread plant infrastructure for the waste cycle, which is capable of protecting the environment and ensuring that the economic wealth that energy and material recovery can provide stays in Italy”.

Ravenna Mayor: “a plant that makes us proud”
“Implementing sound environmental policies is one of the factors that underpin high-quality development”, said Fabrizio Matteucci, the Mayor of Ravenna. “In this context, the question of how to reuse and dispose of waste whilst respecting the environment is crucial. The plant we are inaugurating today is of strategic importance for our industries. The use of cutting-edge technologies makes the plant safe for both the environment and local residents. The fact that the plant's scale and characteristics make it one of the best in Europe can only make us proud”.

Ravenna Province President: “regional development planned together”
“Protecting the environment remains one of the priorities of our regional-planning strategy”, explained Claudio Casadio, President of the Province of Ravenna. “Today's inauguration is further testament to the fact that a region and a civic and economic community that have a sense of awareness can plan their development together”.

Hera Chairman: “an opportunity for the country”
“The plant opened today, which uses the best technologies currently available for this type of waste treatment, confirms Herambiente's position as Italy's leading provider of waste treatment and disposal services”, said Hera Chairman Tomaso Tommasi di Vignano. “I also believe it represents a significant opportunity for the entire country, not only because of the value that can be extracted from otherwise unusable waste and the undeniable environmental benefits, but also due to the strong demand still expressed by businesses looking for special-waste disposal using transparent, professional and efficient methods”.

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