Use, reuse and recycle
At Sandvik, we view our customers’ waste problem as an opportunity. We have a recycling program of used cemented carbide tools which will be converted back into basic raw materials for reuse. Our recycling processes significantly reduce energy consumption, lower carbon emissions and produce less waste.
Wolfram Bergbau und Hütten, a product area within Sandvik, is a world-leading tungsten powder and tungsten carbide producer. Wolfram Bergbau und Hütten has an increased focus on recycling by investing to double the recycling capacity of cemented-carbide tools in their facility in St. Martin, Austria. The proprietarily developed recycling process is clean, efficient and provides powder with the same high quality and properties as from virgin raw materials. Recycling and alternative raw material sourcing is growing in importance for Sandvik and its customers. Recycling has many benefits:
- We help our customers manage hazardous waste through buyback programs; we repurchase their used cemented-carbide inserts and rock tools, converting them into tungsten carbide powders, and return them to the customer for reuse in their production.
- We reduce the amount of tungsten extracted from mines. Tungsten is a scarce and finite mineral - estimated reserves of tungsten total about 7 million tons, or 100 years of consumption.
- Recycling activities provide a steady supply of tungsten as well as a safe supply, since tungsten is classified as a conflict mineral by the US SEC Dodd Frank Act, implying that the source of the tungsten needs to be traced. The recycling schemes use up to 70% less energy and emit up to 40% less carbon dioxide than production with virgin raw materials.