Project objectives

The SASIES project aims at developing and testing at pilot level a recycling process aimed at recovering and valorising waste sludges from agglomerated stone cutting and processing.

The initiative involves Minerali Industriali and Santamargherita, world leader companies in the extractive and agglomerated stones production sectors respectively.
Actually Mineral' lndustriali provides Santamargherita raw materials for high-tech stone's wares production, mainly quartz and marble coverings for interior finishes.

The project puts in place a strategy which, exploiting a "short production-supply chain" logic, engages the raw materials provider and the agglomerated stones producer in a virtuous circle, allowing the re-entering of a waste material (stone sludge) into production processes, reducing landfilling and consumption of natural resources.
European industry counts for about 84 % of the agglomerated stones production worldwide.
The industry produces sludges by cutting and processing of slabs, blocks and tiles stone, which Is nearly entirely landfilled. The sludges amount to about 346.500 tons per year in Europe, while on a world level it concerns about 396.000 tons per year.

Excavation of raw materials used in this industry as filler, amounts to more than twice the materials needed, as a huge part of what has been excavated is not suitable for employment and thus landfilled.
Previous studies and laboratory tests, strengthened the SASIES partners in their assumption that stone sludges can be considered not as waste but, if adequately treated and valorised, as "secondary" raw materials to be effectively re-entered into the production process of the same agglomerated stones industry as filler, and into other construction industries, like those for the production of bricks, cement and asphalt. In this way, not only landfilling of the sludges could be entirely avoided, but less excavation of primary materials would be needed and a significant reduction of CO2 emissions for transport of raw materials could be achieved.

The waste stone sludges which are object of the present initiative are of two kinds: carbonate- calcium sludge (hereinafter A-type, marble) and silicate sludge (B-type, quartz) presenting different technical constraints for recycling that the project aims to overcome in order to allow their entire reutilisation on large scale.