Roland Bång, Project Manager for Ban-verket’s Industrial Division, is extremely pleased with the collaboration between Banverket and IQR Recycling. As Banverket is the authority responsible for the rail system in Sweden, it is the force behind much of the advances in the rail sector. Environmental issues are a crucial area for Roland Bång.
“We want to do as much as possible for the environment. Up until now, Sweden has lagged a little behind in recycling the ballast that is used for the track beds, but because of rising taxes on quarrying new macadam, there is increased interest in recycling. IQR is way ahead in this”, says Roland Bång.
The collaboration between IQR and Banverket covers recycling of both concrete sleepers and track ballast. The concrete sleepers that are found, after inspection, to be suitable for continued use are cleaned and reused, while worn out sleepers are cleaned, crushed and used as fill in road construction, for example. The track ballast that IQR currently handles is excess ballast that has ended up at the sides of the track bed. The contaminated ballast goes through a process that removes dust and small stones, and then cleaned. The final product is three fractions: contaminated ballast, material to be used as fill and reusable ballast for track laying. Half of the surplus ballast that IQR currently handles can be reused as track ballast.
“So far, the quantities we have been processing for Banverket have been quite small, but both we and Banverket are confident that there will be considerable quantities in the future. Banverket has a rolling programme for recycling, and is working to minimise the environmental impact of the railway”, says IQR Recycling’s Manager, Tommy Björklund.