In integrated production, we minimize waste by feeding by-products back into the production loop. WACKER endeavors to avoid waste throughout a product’s entire life cycle.

In 2009, waste volumes fell in line with a groupwide reduction in capacity utilization brought about by the economic situation. In 2010, we recycled 77,030 metric tons of waste, a year-on-year rise of over 20 percent (2009: 63,430 metric tons).

Groupwide, we record the volume of hazardous waste we generate according to two criteria: “to be recycled” and “to be disposed of.” Currently, we do not have figures relating to the export of waste for the entire Group, but we can say that no hazardous waste is exported from our Burghausen site.

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Excluding the silicon-metal plant in Holla, Norway


Reduced due to changes in waste-balancing procedures at Calvert City, USA

Disposed of2




























In 2010, we recovered around 5,000 metric tons of dewatered mineral sludge and 2,000 metric tons of dewatered pyrogenic silica sludge from the hazardous-waste incinerator at our Burghausen site for external use as a landfill construction material. Previously this material would have been destined for a hazardous-waste disposal site. Our new approach cuts down on the use of more valuable construction aggregates. In the future, we plan to recover most of the sludge for use in landfills.

Due to its high silicon dioxide content, dewatered pyrogenic silica sludge can also be used as an additive in cement production. Indeed, our Burghausen plant supplied around 3,500 metric tons of this sludge to a cement factory in 2010. We intend to continue using this new recycling solution. In Brazil, too, we supply the local cement industry with suitable waste from silicone production.

WACKER is keen to minimize the environmental impact of its packaging materials. For instance, our Siltronic division prefers reusable packaging such as the Hybox. Some 50 percent of 300 mm wafers from Burghausen, Freiberg and Singapore are shipped in this type of reusable container, which is designed for transportation in hygienically sensitive areas. Each Hybox shipped saves us 50 kilograms in packaging material. Since 2006, these reusable containers have made around 12,000 return trips, saving us over 600 metric tons of waste overall. Although we still ship most of our smaller silicon wafers in disposable packaging, we have replaced the protective inner layer of foamed plastic with sustainably sourced cardboard.

Another example is that we have replaced the plastic bags used to package VINNAPAS® dispersible polymer powder with recyclable paper bags. This saves 106 metric tons of polyethylene a year, or 800,000 plastic bags. The same number of recyclable paper bags weighs just 82 metric tons. What’s more, WACKER is reducing its packaging material by converting from small to large containers.

Short distances to service providers and avoidance of empty space in the containers help to minimize waste. We are also implementing similar measures at our sites in China, Japan and the USA. Take the following example from Burghausen, where we have replaced 250-liter drums for shipping silicone fluids and emulsions with 1,000-liter IBCs (intermediate bulk containers). WACKER fills over 100,000 of these reusable containers annually, and then sends them to a service provider a short distance away, where they are recycled. The EUROPISTON tank is another environmentally sound alternative to transport drums. A moving internal piston pushes 25 metric tons of silicone sealant – equivalent to 125 steel drums – into the tank semitrailer. The customer can connect the tank directly to his filling equipment. Several thousand metric tons of silicone sealant currently leave our Burghausen site in piston tanks.

We have also introduced a chemicals-exchange database. Burghausen site employees can use it to identify surplus substances, either in opened packaging drums, or in their original container. The database is a practical way to coordinate the recycling of surplus materials.