By-products and residues
Gerdau seeks intelligent and sustainable alternatives for the use of by-products generated during the steel production. This is done through several initiatives such as identifying recycling opportunities in the production process of steel itself, developing research partnerships with universities, research institutions, and industries, as well as making internal improvements in the processing of by-products to facilitate recycling.
In 2011, Gerdau increased the level of reuse of its byproducts, contributing to the conservation of natural resources. The reuse rate of these materials, which considers the volume of waste reused by different segments of economy and the steel industry itself, reached 78.3%. During the year, one of the highlights was the beginning of recycling 100% of the dust collected by the dust removal systems of the electric melt shops of the mills located in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. During the process, all of the zinc contained in the dust is reused and the rest is transformed into products for construction. In 2012, feasibility studies were initiated to extend this project to other industrial mills located in Brazil. Moreover, Gerdau’s mills in the United States, Canada and Spain also have initiatives for the reuse of melt shop dust. The entire process of transportation, storage, and selling of by-products meets legal requirements and of the Gerdau’s Environmental Management System.