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Waste management at T-Solar

18 May 2020

The inexorable increase in waste as a result of human activity has become one of the most difficult issues to address in recent times.

Improper management of these wastes can cause significant damage to the environment, either due to their dangerousness or simply due to their quantity and the consequent inability to storage them, also contributing to the depletion of natural resources. Therefore, the implementation of waste management systems is essential, thus providing solutions from an environmental point of view.

The Act. 22/2011 on waste and contaminated soil is the one in charge of regulating waste management in Spain. At the same time, the classification of different wastes is determined by the European List of Waste (LoW). This regulation obliges good practices, prioritizes those methods with the lowest environmental impact and penalizes the elimination of waste, which represents an increasing cost to companies.

Thereby T-Solar carries out the management through different actions, depending on the area where it intervenes.

First of all, it is important to note that T-Solar performs sustainable resource planning on projects under development. This consists of the selection of optimal materials that, among other aspects, guarantee their recycling.

In operational photovoltaic solar plants, the modules have an average life of about 25 years, which minimizes the generation of these non-hazardous waste in the long term. When they need to be replaced, the discarded modules are collected, transported and processed by an authorized manager.

This management is defined by the Law on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) in the Countries of the European Union. These modules are almost completely recycled since they are mostly made of glass and aluminum, easily recoverable materials.

In the case of solar thermal plants, both hazardous and non-hazardous waste are accounted for and categorized in detail for subsequent labeling and temporary storage. Finally they are delivered to an authorized manager. All of this is recorded, communicated and audited in an annual waste management report.

Finally, some waste is generated in our offices, in this case of a domestic type (packaging, organic matter, paper and cardboard) those are segregated and stored in special bins for subsequent collection and treatment.

In this sense, T-Solar has wanted to go one step further, implementing several Zerowaste initiatives in recent years. Among them, the use of glass bottles and wooden plug stands out as a substitute for single-use plastics (mainly bottles and glasses). With this, it manages to avoid the consumption of about 600 plastic cups per employee per year. Glass bottles are filled with mineral water in carafes, which in turn are also returnable.

Another action carried out by T-Solar is the Paper free Billing or Paperless Billing initiative, which saves consumption of more than 700 kilos of paper per year.

Something that T-Solar does not ignore is food waste either. With thirty employees and a weekly order of fruit in bulk supplied in a returnable wooden box, T-Solar manages to return the surplus fruit to the supplier to be recycled.

In conclusion and without ignoring the economic aspects at all, it could be said that the business world should be able to take into account other considerations that have come to the fore, especially in recent years, such as waste management. . Furthermore, according to a study carried out in 2018 by Expense Reduction Analysts, based on the analysis of more than 50 companies in Spain, Germany, Belgium, Denmark and France, the companies that perform good management in the treatment of waste and are committed to environmental sustainability achieve significant cost savings as well as reduced management costs.

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