THE BRICK INDUSTRY’S ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
Predominantly obsolete and antiquated brick kiln technologies are widely used in developing countries and much of the industry operates illegally. Due to increasingly strict environmental laws and legislation change, many developing countries have banned polluting kilns, particularly the Moveable Metal Bull's Trench Kiln and the Clamp Kiln, although they continue operation undeterred in some countries.
Brick kilns are a primary source of the short lived climate pollutant Black Carbon (soot). They are also extremely high emitters of CO2.
The industry has a devastating environmental impact, resulting in irreparable harm to the environment and the lives of those working and living nearby. The brick industry and its inefficient technologies negatively impact on health, clean air, clean water and agriculture.
Kiln replacement with low emission, fuel efficient and functional Habla Zig-Zag technology offers a 'win-win' opportunity to significantly reduce the pollution of both black carbon Short Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCP's) and CO2. HZZK technology can offer both local, regional and long term change, significantly improving the environment, workplace conditions and peoples health and agricultural outcomes for millions of poor brick workers and their families.
There are over 300,000* brick kilns worldwide that currently;
- Release over 890 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere every year.
- Burn 375 million tonnes of fossil fuel every year, plus millions of tonnes of scavenged highly polluting fuel i.e. tyres, wood, waste oil, cow dung, paper, liquid tar (mazoot) battery cases etc.
- Many kiln operations use the cover of darkness to burn these scavenged fuel sources.
- These brick kilns and their toxic emissions, create hazardous working conditions for workers and their families (young children).
- Brick kilns contaminate the soil surrounding kiln sites and diminish crop yields (agriculture production) as a consequence.
Cutting CO2 emissions in brick-making
The successful conclusion of the in-depth research study is a significant achievement for the Energy Efficient Clay Brick (EECB) Project, a CBA initiative funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented in South Africa by Swisscontact.