Waste Management Segment

The Waste Management Segment handles a total waste volume of around 1.7 million tonnes a year at 24 facilities (previous year: 1.7 million t). Due to modern logistics and the extensive network of facilities, this waste is collected, treated, incinerated or disposed of in a commercially and environmentally state-of-the-art process. The market for waste management is subject to permanently changing general conditions.

The careful use of resources and prevention or reduction of emissions with the active involvement of customers, employees, and owners as well as their level of satisfaction are fundamental prerequisites for the Group's long-term success. To guarantee customer focus and rapid service, the Waste Management Segment operates at various sites across all of Austria. The headquarters of the Waste Management Segment are still located in Hörsching but will be relocated to Wels in the 2021/2022 fiscal year.

Total waste volume in tonnes 1)








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Non-recyclable waste














Plastics & packaging














Organic waste














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Hazardous waste







Non-hazardous waste







By waste management method














Thermal processing




































The waste management method relates to the first treatment stage after waste generation.
Example 1: So-called non-recyclable waste is generated in households. The first treatment stage takes place at the waste incineration plant in Wels. One of the residues resulting from incineration is slag. Slag is then processed in a second treatment stage (washing, sieving) to extract metals. The metals are delivered to a metal recycling plant. The remaining slag is then deposited in landfill. The first treatment stage for non-recyclable waste is incineration. Therefore, non-recyclable waste is allocated to the incineration waste management method. Additional treatment stages are not taken into account.
Example 2: So-called bulky waste is generated in households and businesses. The first treatment stage takes place at the recycling plant. The waste is broken down and can then be divided into various recyclable waste types (metals, wood). The remaining waste mostly consists of contaminated plastics and paper and cannot be recycled. The next treatment stage is incineration. As described above, incineration creates slag, which is then processed further. Thus, the first treatment stage for bulky waste is recycling and the extraction of secondary raw materials (metals). Additional treatment stages are not taken into account.

The majority of the waste volumes is processed in Group-owned treatment and recycling plants and then returned on the market or used for electricity or heat generation.

Investments into the highest technical standards and in environmental protection are one of the foundation stones of the Waste Management Segment’s business activities. A special focus is on resource preservation and the substitution of fossil fuels.

The environmental targets of the Waste Management Segment are stated in the current environmental declaration 2021 pursuant to EMAS.

Internal audits guarantee the process control with respect to legal compliance with environmental regulations. This focuses on the Austrian Legal Information System, monitoring of requirements (laws, regulations, administrative decisions) in the Gutwin legal database and ensuring that waste is obtained and stored legally. In addition, the externally certified environmental management system guarantees that negative impacts of processes on the environment are identified and can then be prevented or mitigated accordingly.

When providing waste management services, care is taken to ensure that resources are conserved as much as possible. Key plans in this area include reducing CO2 emissions with a modern fleet of trucks, rolling out e-business (automating commercial processes), increasing energy efficiency and decreasing overall energy consumption.

The slag remaining after waste incineration is recycled at the Wels plant. In a multi-stage mechanical separation process, iron and other content remaining in the slag after incineration is removed. These raw materials (aluminium, copper, brass and stainless steel) are separated, recycled and returned into the metal processing cycle, which in comparison to primary production also saves CO2 emissions. The recycling of the metals additionally reduces the use of the landfill in Wels and thereby prevents the need to use other landfills and the associated truck journeys and fuel consumption.

Biomonitoring, a scientifically-based control method, is used to track pollutant emissions at the Wels waste incineration plant. The effects of the thermal treatment plant’s operation on the environment are measured continuously at several fixed points in and around the site.

In terms of energy efficiency in the Waste Management Segment, the Group pays particular attention to the energetic effectiveness of the grate firing and circulating fluidised-bed waste incineration plants. Compliance with the efficiency criteria under Directive 2008/98/EC is assessed on an annual basis. Efficient electricity conversion and/or heat extraction are crucial factors in fulfilling these criteria. As far as technically possible, process water, rain water or seepage is used instead of potable water in the production plants.

In order to keep the waste incineration plants up to date with the latest technology and warrant an uninterrupted security of waste management, the waste incineration plants are regularly inspected with a focus on the replacement of bigger system components. The replacement of the waste crane in the waste incineration plant in Wels took place during ongoing operations in the autumn of 2020. A second waste crane was installed at this opportunity. This technical expansion significantly increases the operational reliability of the waste incineration plant in Wels.

A key objective of the Waste Management Segment lies in compensating for emissions caused by own plants and reducing the consumption of resources. The Segment's CO2 footprint was determined in the 2019/2020 fiscal year in cooperation with the Environment Agency Austria and forms the basis for the climate change mitigation strategy that the waste management sector is implementing in order to achieve CO2 neutrality. According to Environment Agency Austria, the direct and indirect emissions amount to a total of 530,000 t of CO2eq (resulting from the operation of incineration plants, logistics, electricity consumption etc.). Around 60% of these emissions are already directly compensated by the services provided by the Umwelt Service GmbH, e.g. by the production of substitute fuels and the recycling of waste materials to secondary raw materials. Additionally, the generation of electricity and district heat in the waste incineration plant in Wels generates a theoretical prevention potential of around 250,000 t of CO2eq for the Umwelt Service GmbH.

Based on the insights from the investigation conducted by Environment Agency Austria, the Umwelt Service GmbH is now implementing additional projects within the climate change mitigation strategy. The focus of these projects is on the switch to electric vehicles and the in-house generation of electricity from photovoltaic. The survey will now continuously examine how strongly these projects influence the operational CO2 footprint.

Wels with its two waste incineration plants is not only the centre piece of the waste solution for Upper Austria, but also a hub for many waste management activities within Energie AG Umwelt Service GmbH. An expansion project in Wels was started in the summer of 2020 to integrate the site in Hörsching, which had previously been converted into a logistics hub. The concentration at a single central location with around 100 jobs delivers synergy effects with shorter distances, making it more climate friendly and increasing value generation for Wels.

The Waste Management Segment also offers water supply and waste water management services to cities and municipalities across Austria. There is no noteworthy water loss from the transport lines owned by the Segment, with the differences between the measuring points at wells or tanks and water meter chambers at the customer’s end falling within the range of the water meters’ measurement tolerances.

Energie AG only has limited influence over water losses in the distribution networks of the municipalities serviced, as the municipalities who own the infrastructure in these areas have the power to decide on any measures (upgrades, investments, etc.). Energie AG carries out monitoring, measurements and broad-based analysis and formulates proposed measures for decision-makers to reduce non-revenue water.

A pilot project implemented in the reporting period successfully tested the water consumption monitoring tool “Water under Control” developed by ČEVAK a.s. in several Upper Austrian communities and prepared further steps.

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