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The most modern waste pretreatment center in Latin America opens in Chile
Thursday, March 28, 2024 - 16:30
Crédito foto Ambipar environment

Equipped with the most advanced semi-automated technology, the Ambipar Environment facility will set a record in processing capacity, reaching up to 60 thousand tons per year and a recovery rate of more than 90% of recyclable garbage.

Six months after the beginning of the Containers and Packaging stage of the Extended Producer Responsibility Law (REP), the Classification and Pretreatment Center for the Recovery of Waste “GIRI” was inaugurated in the commune of Quilicura, a ceremony that included the presence of the Undersecretary of the Environment, Maximiliano Proaño Ugalde, and the Brazilian Ambassador to Chile, Paulo Roberto Soares Pacheco.

The project belongs to Ambipar Environment, a leading company in environmental solutions and subsidiary for Latin America of the Brazilian multinational Ambipar Group. Its investment amounted to US$ 25 million and includes 8,500 m2 of industrial warehouses, equipped with the most advanced semi-automated technologies in waste classification and pretreatment, positioning itself as a benchmark in the region.

At the inauguration, the Undersecretary of the Environment, Maximiliano Proaño Ugalde, representing the Government, highlighted that “the inauguration of GIRI is a milestone for environmental management in our country and a clear example of how private investment is committed to this type of infrastructure, which allows us to advance at accelerated steps with the REP Law. It is also a clear example of how this type of plants contribute to the country's economy and allows us to visualize what this law for recycling is, which is key to moving towards a circular economy."

For his part, Matías Lagos, Corporate General Manager of Ambipar Environment for Latin America, said: “We are working on an ecosystem of valuation systems that is capable of providing solutions to all industries, in all types of waste, and thus transform ourselves in one of the references in Latin America and, hopefully in the world, in recovery solutions. We hope that it will help many more facilities be built with this level of technology in the future. “We are convinced that Chile's environmental challenge must be faced collaboratively, with innovation and seriousness.”

The advanced standard of equipment and processes offered by GIRI allows for a solution for the classification and pretreatment of non-domestic solid waste from various industrial sectors and household packaging linked to the REP Management Systems, reaching a processing capacity of up to 60 thousand tons per year, the highest so far available in Chile.

“This path is just beginning. Only in the Metropolitan Region, in order for us to meet the goals indicated by the REP Law for Household and Non-Domiciliary Containers and Packaging, by the year 2034, 8 capacities like this will be required. And that's without touching on the challenge we have in the rest of the country. But, without a doubt, this invites us to work together, to work collaboratively among all the key actors in the system, which is the spirit of GIRI. Here we are opening the doors to the entire ecosystem and we want to continue doing so, because if we do not all collaborate, those 8 capabilities will probably not appear,” said Andrés Jensen Velasco, Corporate Manager of Development and New Businesses at Ambipar Environment.

One of GIRI's additional processes is the certified destruction and recovery of obsolete inventories, aimed at the industrial and commercial sector, which consists of crushing or separating packaging-product to take advantage of the material that can be recovered through recycling, composting, animal feed, biodigestion or energy recovery.

The plant will also have the capacity to produce waste-derived fuel (RDF) from the non-recyclable fraction.

READ ALSO: Is Chile prepared to recycle?

Andrés Jensen Velasco pointed out that this center “will make life easier for management systems and municipalities, transforming mixtures that have the appropriate quality for efficient recycling or other types of valuation. We do not want this to end up in a landfill, but rather we want to transform them into materials with clear technical specifications that allow them to be valorized in other technologies.”

At the close of the event, which had more than 400 attendees belonging to the recycling ecosystem and representatives of different industries, Ambipar Environment announced that it plans to expand its operational capacity at the national level, with new investments in the regions of Tarapacá, Biobío and Los Lagos, which They consist of three plants for the reception, collection, classification and recycling of solid waste, which will provide 10 thousand tons of annual capacity each. At the regional level, company executives commented that the GIRI concept is also being replicated in Peru and soon in Colombia and Paraguay.