So good, the young company has managed to clinch the only environmental licence in the country to use aluminium dross in recycling. When not recycled, it would end up in secure landfills, an expensive solution that does nothing to eliminate its environmental liability. ‘It costs up to US$550 per ton to dispose of securely, so some companies find less ethical solutions, others even give it away. We pay for it as a valuable commodity!’ says Carolina, who remains modest about her find. ‘Research in this field is quite slow here in Colombia, which gave us a competitive advantage.’
Clinching authorisation was no mean feat, however. ‘It took a great deal of patience to convince the authorities,’ states Carolina, ‘because this was such a novel solution here.’ It paid off: Ingerecuperar has 10 full-time employees and in 2010 recycled 195 tons of aluminium dross, a figure that doubled in the first half of 2011 alone. Items the company already produces from the resulting material, a form of cement, include blocks, benches, and fence posts.