The International Town-Planning and Environment Exhibition

The First Show for Processing and Recycling, SRR, which will take place within the framework of TEM TECMA'08, the International Town-Planning and Environment Exhibition, will bring together the whole of the Spanish recycling industry. In terms of figures, this industry accounts for almost 2% of Spain´s GDP, based on an annual total of more than 5,000 million euros. It also generates more than 25, 000 direct jobs and 100,000 indirect jobs and is made up of more than 200 companies, although nearly 20,000 small and medium-sized companies take part in activities linked to recycling.

This fair, which is promoted by FER, the Spanish Recycling Federation, and AEDRA, the Spanish Vehicle Stripping and Recycling Association, will take place at Feria de Madrid on 12th and 13th June next, bringing together all members of the industry, which is characterised by its strong investment in R+D and possesses the most advanced technology in Europe. In this respect, Spain´s industry serves as a veritable point of reference at an international level. In fact, according to FER, ´European companies of the stature of BMW, Fiat and General Motors, and even Asian companies such as Toyota and Kia, use Spanish waste processing methods in order to comply with Community environmental regulations under the heading of recycling´.

The starting-point for a traditional distribution system consists of producers, whilst the end-point consists of consumers. However, in the case of the recycling industry, the distribution flow works in the opposite direction. Consumers constitute the main link in the waste distribution chain, given that they are the main supplier.

For this reason, the structure of the industry can be represented by an ´inverted pyramid´, given that there is a larger number of suppliers than end consumers 43 million suppliers (the population of Spain). 50 large companies are devoted to waste recovery, recycling and processing. 10 end consumers (smelting-plants). Main Waste Producers.

The waste mainly comes from the following sectors End-of-life vehicles (one million tons a year). More than 80% of a vehicle is made up of metallic materials, 100% of which are recycled in Spain, which is above the European average. Electrical and electronic equipment (250, 000 tons a year). Building/demolition (7 million tons a year).

Furthermore, 70% of output from this sector is used for industrial purposes, in which respect we could define it as the ´most important mine for the Spanish steel industry´. Thus, recycled metal forms part of the structure, the traction system and the internal equipment of cars, aircraft, ships, trains, motorbikes and bicycles. It is also used to make building façades, roofing, lock systems, tins for conserving food, bottle tops, pots and pans, household appliances, golf clubs, etc.

With regard to the professionals who work within the industry, we might highlight the fact that they are becoming increasingly well qualified. The figure of the scrap-merchant, who has traditionally collected scrap metal from consumers´ homes, is a thing of the past. It has given way to an industry that is perfectly structured and highly specialised. In fact, professionals who devote themselves to collecting materials that are liable to be recycled must obtain a non-toxic waste management permit.

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