FCC ámbito’s waste treatment and recovery facilities are equipped with market-leading technology. In order to meet our final quality targets, waste usually undergoes more than one kind of treatment. This means that the design of our facilities includes several different process lines.

Recovery of contaminated receptacles


Our waste-treatment facilities are equipped with specialised lines for crushing and decontaminating plastic containers. Our process begins with an inspection to check that the containers are empty, then classifying them into different types of plastic, as necessary. They then pass to a crushing line, which breaks them down into fragments 10–20 mm in size to facilitate the subsequent treatment stages. After crushing, they undergo a washing process to eliminate any contaminants and remains of paper and labelling, resulting in an end product that is decontaminated and free of impurities. Finally, after drying, the plastic is stored in large sacks, ready to be sent for recycling. The washing water and impurities extracted from the decontamination process are stored appropriately.

This process line means that plastic, which is a highly recyclable material, is introduced back into the production cycles, with the consequent savings in resources.

FCC ámbito also has a specific facility for the treatment and recycling of aerosols and other pressure containers.

Physical & chemical treatment and stabilisation


FCC ámbito has a number of physical and chemical treatment facilities where the waste undergoes processes to eliminate or reduce the hazards it poses. These chemical and physical processes may consist of operations including precipitation, oxidisation, reduction, dehydration, phase separation, centrifuging and evaporation. 

“Stabilisation” is the term used for the specific physical and chemical treatment process used to fix contaminants present in waste, by taking more stable forms it subsequently becomes easier to handle. Stabilisation transforms contaminant agents into forms that are less toxic and/or mobile.

Although stabilisation treatment usually occur before the final elimination of the waste at a landfill site, FCC ámbito explores the possibilities of valuing certain waste flows that undergo these processes, making it necessary to ensure that any contaminants are held in the stabilised waste over time.

Thermal treatment


The thermal treatments available at FCC ámbito’s facilities make it possible to concentrate the contaminant load that is present in waste, thereby reducing the volume of waste that needs to be handled in subsequent processes. 

These thermal treatments include energy recovery, a process whereby any energy resources that waste may contain can be made good use of.

Biological treatment


Biological treatments are applied to waste with a biodegradable organic load. They are based on the ability of microorganisms to degrade organic matter through such processes as fermentation, digestion, etc. 

This treatment is appropriate for rinsing or washing effluents with an organic load, such as those generated by the farming and food sectors. At our physical and chemical treatment facilities the biological treatment line is usually also the final conditioning line for the effluent to achieve the required quality.

PCB/ transformer handling


Holders of PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenils) and equipment that contains them are obliged to deliver them to authorised hazardous-waste handlers who will proceed to eliminate or decontaminate them. The handlers responsible for transporting them then take them to the corresponding treatment plants. 

On arrival at the treatment plant, any equipment containing PCB-rich oil undergoes a purging process these oils are extracted and thoroughly cleaned until it is completely decontaminated. The equipment is then thoroughly cleaned until it is completely decontaminated. After decontamination, the equipment may move on to a stage where it is broken down and fragmented to separate out the different metals used in its component parts. The PCB-rich oil and resulting contaminated material is sent to be destroyed at facilities located in Europe, while metal materials, such as copper and iron, are recycled by introducing them back into production cycles as raw materials. 

FCC ámbito has three decontamination centres for transformers and apparatus containing PCBs.

Refused Delived Fuel (RDF)


In order to increase the amounts of our client’s waste that are valued, at FCC ámbito we have developed energy-recovery solutions for all unrecyclable waste. Based on heterogeneous mixtures of high-PCI waste below the limiting factors (in terms of moisture content, maximum Cl concentration, etc.), mechanical processes are used to prepare waste-derived fuel (CDR), with benefits including:

  • Energy recovery from waste
  • Reduced use of fossil fuels
  • Reduced CO2 emissions
  • Optimising the lifetime of existing elimination centres and reducing future needs

The production of CDRs from wastes that have no other recovery alternatives is an option more sustainable than their management in disposal centers, makes use of the best available techniques and contributes to the optimization of fossil fuels and the reduction of Emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Oil-waste treatment


At our facility located in Alabama (United States), waste from E&P (Oil Exploration and Production)  is received and treated. The physical and chemical processes applied allow the hydrocarbons present to be recovered and the water to be finally conditioned before being incorporated into the municipal sewage system. 

We also have a stabilisation proccess line to treat and condition solid waste generated by oil-drilling activities.

Hydrocarbon recovery


FCC ámbito has facilities licensed to sell fuel obtained from hydrocarbon waste. The treatment process consists of initial separation of the phases found in the waste received and subsequent conditioning of the hydrocarbon phase obtained. This conditioning consists of eliminating any solids, water and other unwanted compounds. This process is applied to the waste generated by cleaning hydrocarbon storage tanks and tanker holds. 

The fuel obtained can then replace fuel originating from oil-drilling, thereby helping to optimisie resources.

Final elimination


Optimal waste management should aim to make maximum use of the material and energy resources contained in the waste, by reusing, recycling and/or recoyrying it. Final elimination is considered only as a last resort, applied in cases where the current state of technology does not allow it to be managed with alternative treatments in order for it to be used materially or for energy purposes.

FCC ámbito has elimination facilities for both hazardous and non-hazardous waste, equipped with the best technology available to assure compliance with all the relevant legal requirements.