A Recycling Valley in the heart of Europe


In the Liège steel basin, metal recycling projects are increasing in number. The region has no shortage of assets to help it achieve a European leadership in the sector.

The Metallurgical Research Centre (CRM) laboratories are working to develop innovative recycling processes. A total of 270 people, including 150 engineers, divided between the workshops in Liège and Ghent, are working to help the European steel industry decarbonise.

The Liège reason can also draw on the expertise of nine research centres and four universities to develop projects to implement in the Liège steel basin, which is currently under conversion.

Based on skills drawn from a rich industrial past, new products are being developed, such as alloys or applications for the energy transition. For example, the CRM desidgned a miniature furnace to recycle aluminium from coffee capsules and other packaging. This pilot project will allow for the coming opening of an industrial recycling line capable of processing 20,000 tones of this metal per year.

As the area of electric mobility is currently rapidly expanding, new prospects are also opening up in terms of battery recycling. Lithium, germanium and other rare metals can be carefully harvested in the future. This is already the case for the batteries of most electric scooters in several countries, which at the end of their life cycle pass through Liège to be processed.

Already at the forefront of the recycling field, many economic players dream of seeing the emergence in the coming years of a true Recycling Valley on a European scale, which would be established on a long-term basis in the province of Liege.

Such Belgian initiatives certainly offer good answers to the climate and environmental challenges.