Ardagh Group has won a Resource Recovery Award for successfully recycling softening pellets at its Dongen plant in the Netherlands.

The pellets are a valuable residual waste product from the water treatment industry, and are used to replace limestone as a raw material in the production of high quality clear container glass.

The award was presented at the First International Resource Recovery Conference in Belgium, by the International Water Association (IWA).

The award recognises world-class achievements for best practice applications, which have a positive environmental impact that benefits all stakeholders in the supply chain.

Key to Ardagh’s success was finding an efficient, environmentally friendly and cost effective method for meeting the challenge of drying the calcite pellets before using them in the glass making furnace.

This was achieved by the development of a purpose built truck, which dries the pellets in transit between the water treatment plant and Ardagh’s production site in a CO2 neutral drying process, using only heat from the engine.

“We seek the best environmental outcome throughout all our production and logistical processes to provide us with the most reliable, sustainable, high quality and cost efficient resources,” explains Sven-Roger Kahl, Manager, Glass Technology, Ardagh Glass, Europe.

He adds: “This particular solution, replacing 7000 tonnes of limestone with the calcite grains, required thorough development and testing from our engineering team to maximise the benefits, and our sister plants are now looking carefully at how they can adopt the technology.

“Our close cooperation with Restoffenunie, a collective shared service centre of the Dutch Water Supply Companies, who provided valuable assistance throughout the process, was very beneficial.”