Ashland has extensive global programs for waste minimization, recycling and treatment or disposal of generated wastes. We manage our hazardous waste in accordance with governmental regulations and our internal policies and procedures. While Ashland does not currently collect data regarding its global, nonhazardous waste generation, this information will be included in future reports.
Waste Management and Reduction
When it comes to waste management, Ashland looks for innovative ways to manage an age-old problem. Ashland has for many years focused on a waste management hierarchy to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover waste streams. Our ultimate goal is to move up the hierarchy tree from reduction to zero waste. Although we still have quite a way to go to achieve this goal, our target is to reduce and manage our waste streams to minimize the impact on the environment. The table below highlights the ways we manage our wastes:
Waste Minimization, Reuse and Recycling
In 2014, the Ashland Columbus Hilliard plant implemented a project to recover solvents from a manufacturing process that produces a cosmetic intermediate. Normally, these solvents would be disposed of as a hazardous waste through incineration. The project was quite successful, achieving a 95% recovery rate in its first year of operation. Approximately 685 metric tons of solvent were recovered and recycled, resulting in an estimated cost savings of $1.5 million dollars. An additional environmental benefit was also achieved. It eliminated the combustion of the waste stream by reducing CO2 emissions by 1,804 tons and NO2 emissions by 105 tons. As a result of the plant’s successful efforts, they were awarded the American Chemistry Council’s Waste Minimization, Reuse and Recycling Award.
Taking Waste to Product
In 2014, Ashland Performance Materials (APM) opened its second PET conversion facility in Benicarlo, Spain. This new facility represents an investment of $2 million. This investment will allow Ashland to develop better performing products for its customers, but also reinforces the importance of sustainability to Ashland. When fully operational, the facility will process up to 5,000 tons of recycled PET materials, which is equivalent to half a billion water bottles per year. The recycled materials will be used to manufacture a variety of products including kitchen counter tops, bath tubs or even a yacht. Annually, APM processes in excess of 14.2 million pounds of industrial-grade PET for the manufacture of composite materials.