Waste & Spills
As we continue to develop innovative solutions for our customers, our environmental impact is a constant consideration.
We acknowledge the potential impact that solid waste disposal or spills of hazardous materials could have on the environment in our local communities. Therefore, we take a targeted approach to minimize waste through a hierarchy of management practices, and we work toward zero spills at our facilities. We also believe that finding alternative uses for waste materials and byproducts presents opportunities to further contribute to a circular economy. As such, we have updated our waste goal to reduce the amount of waste generated at our facilities that is not beneficially reused or used for energy recovery by 20% and to ultimately eliminate waste disposal from our production facilities.
Our goal for reducing the intensity of disposed waste was achieved in 2016, but in 2019 we continued to find ways to further reduce waste generation and beneficially use the waste we do generate. Through these efforts, we reduced our waste generation intensity by 2.1% over 2018 and our waste disposal intensity by 2.6%. Further, the amount of waste generated was reduced by 7.5% over 2018. In 2019, we continued our trend toward beneficially reusing the waste we did generate by another 2.8% compared with 2018. The majority of the improvement was related to finding beneficial uses for the waste generated from air pollution control systems at specific facilities.
Our waste generation is dominated by a single waste stream at one facility, accounting for over 94% of our disposed waste, and, as we have previously stated, this stream is expected to change substantially to near zero within the next three to five years. Considering all other waste streams, we beneficially reused or recycled 54% of the waste we generated in 2019, an increase of nearly 13%.