We are continuously looking for ways to reduce and avoid waste. Waste products that cannot be recycled are disposed of in an environmentally sound way in accordance with official guidelines.
The main waste generated by Linde includes oil and oil-containing material, chemicals, metal-containing waste and gas cylinders at the end of their service life. Most gas cylinders are fully recyclable and only in exceptional cases are they stored at a disposal sites.
In accordance with national legislation, we assess waste as either hazardous or non-hazardous. Hazardous waste at our operations primarily includes oil and oil-containing materials from compressors used in air separation units and in acetylene and HyCO plants. Oil-containing mud, produced when cleaning oil-water separators, also fits in the category of hazardous waste.
Reducing waste and increasing recycling
Closed product cycles help us to improve material and resource efficiency, and to reduce the generation of waste. An example is lime slurry, a by-product of acetylene production that can be used in other industries without further treatment.
We also cooperate with our customers and business partners to ensure waste is handled responsibly. For instance, we offer customers an ecologically sound means of disposal for gases in compressed gas cylinders. Since 2009, we have been involved in a joint venture with a Californian waste service provider in the US to extract fuel and energy from waste. Around 2.3 million tonnes of waste is recycled annually, which is sufficient to provide liquefied biogas to power 300 refuse vehicles. Additionally, the waste service provider's site provides electricity for around 8,500 households in the region.
Responsibility along the value chain
Highlighted: Areas of the value chain relating to the issues covered on this page