Eliminating secondary emission in the Krakow’s plant. Spring cleaning of roads and pavements takes place


Spring is finally here for good. For that reason, in the middle of March, employees from ArcelorMittal Poland Unit in Krakow have started the annual general road and pavements cleaning within the plant. This is a serious undertaking, having in mind the size area that requires cleaning. The plant itself occupies around 1,000 hectares, including 60 kilometres of roads, pavements and bus bays.

The roads inside of the plant are maintained all year long. In winter snow clearance and de-icing is carried out, and in other seasons regular sweeping and cleaning of roadways and roadsides. Spring cleaning is the most important, because after winter season it is necessary to clean off all dirt, mud and sand previously used for de-icing. Dust on the roads is primarily caused by emission from vehicles, but also by tire and road abrasion and industrial emissions.

- This is not a one-time event. We are aware of how important it is to properly maintain roads to eradicate emissions from transport. By regular cleaning we decrease secondary emission from roads and we prevent dust from getting into the atmosphere - explains Donat Adamski, chief specialist, Subsidiaries & Property Management, responsible for nearly 60 kilometres of road network in the Krakow plant.

- It is estimated that secondary emission is responsible for nearly half of PM10 and PM2.5 particulates levels in the air. – Studies conducted in 2016 by researchers from AGH University of Science and Technology show that emission from transport on the busiest thoroughfares in Krakow generate up to 50 per cent of all PM10 and PM2.5 levels during the dry, summer season. In winter respectively around 25 per cent – says Jolanta Zawitkowska, green officer at ArcelorMittal Poland Unit in Krakow. 

Similarly to the other parts of Krakow, water carts and street sweepers clean road surfaces and vacuum dust that have accumulated in streets. Main roads are always cleaned in the first place. These are the roads going from the main gates: no. 1 and no. 5 moving into the plant, and also the roads near to the main gate, the roundabout with bus bays and the roads between S and Z buildings.

Researchers from the Cracow University of Technology proved that regular the roads and pavements cleaning can significantly reduce secondary emission on roads. Last year for example, in cooperation with the Municipal Waste Management Company in Krakow they led pilot project of Lea street cleaning. The results were surprising – nearly 2 tonnes of dust collected from just one kilometre of the road! This layer of dust and heavy traffic would cause secondary emission, as a result of which dust is entering our lungs or is washed down to the system of catch pits and block them in case of a heavy rainfall.

- I find it excellent that the company participates actively in sustaining satisfying environmental conditions, especially when it comes to air conditions in the city, by properly maintaining roads, pavements and bus bays within the plant. These actions are perfectly complementary to a regular street cleaning performed on a daily basis by the Municipal Waste Management Company. It is worth mentioning that in view of the provisions we together share the responsibility of maintaining these roads and pavements. Only joint efforts can bring great results. This will definitely help us to improve the air quality in the city – says prof. Agnieszka Generowicz, the Faculty of Environmental Engineering, the Cracow University of Technology, who participated in research on dust collected from the Lea Street in Krakow.