Bluescope Steel

Resource Efficiency Case StudiesResource Efficiency Case Studies


BlueScope Steel, along with a number of industry associations, is working towards effective by-product management solutions. In particular, the Company has been involved with the World Steel Association to improve material efficiency in the steel industry worldwide.

Springhill Filter Cake Recycling

Each year, around 1,000 tonnes of iron-rich filter cake is produced by the Springhill water treatment plant. Filter cake is a residue produced in the treatment of water used in the steel manufacturing process. Typically, the filter cake has been dried and disposed to landfill.

The viability of blending iron-rich filter cake with other stockpiled material for processing through the Sinter Plant at Port Kembla Steelworks has been examined, and following extensive analysis and a successful trial, a process for blending and reusing filter cake within the sinter feed is now in place.

The majority of the existing filter cake stockpile has now been blended and processed, thus removing the landfill legacy. Processing of the Springhill filter cake will continue, further reducing by-product waste to landfill.

train at BlueScope Steel

Rail Ballast Recycling

The BlueScope Steel Port Kembla Steelworks has a railway network of 68 kilometres of tracks. Rail track maintenance includes periodic excavation and replacement of track ballast. It is estimated that 132,000 tonnes of rail ballast, which would normally be disposed of in landfill, will be excavated over the next decade.

A new screening and recycling process has been developed that allows approximately 80 per cent of ballast material generated to be reused within the BlueScope Steel rail track network.

The project has led to a reduction of over 10,000 tonnes of virgin material that would otherwise have been required for rail track ballast within the Port Kembla Steelworks site. There has also been a reduction of 12,000 tonnes of material to landfill.