Waste Management Segment

Waste Management Segment overview










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Total waste volume handled


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Incinerated waste volume


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Economic framework conditions for the waste management sector

The Circular Economy Package authored at EU level aims to establish sustainable products as the norm in the EU, making these products more durable, repairable, reusable and recyclable throughout their entire life cycle. The Circular Economy Package amendment under the Waste Management Act (AWG) at national level is intended to ensure waste avoidance, recycling, and reuse, and to achieve a product design geared towards sustainability – based on eco-design specifications. Targets in line with this for recycling, quotas for reusable and disposable packaging and for the reduction of certain plastic products as well as on the issue of producer responsibility, incineration bans and landfill restrictions have been formulated and pose major challenges for the stakeholders.

One of the focuses here is plastic packaging: in order to achieve the EU target of a 50% recycling rate in 2025, recycling must be substantially increased in the coming years. In addition, a new independent quota for separate collection of PET beverage bottles becomes mandatory as of 2025. In order to be able to achieve these high targets, the Circular Economy Package, an amendment to the Waste Management Act, envisages the mandatory, staggered introduction of reusable packaging quotas in the food industry as well as a commitment on the part of the beverage industry to charge a deposit on PET and aluminium containers as of 1 January 2025.

Further provisions from the Waste Management Act (AWG) mandates that, starting on 1 January 2023, waste transportation of volumes above 10 t over distances of more than 300 kilometres must be effected by rail or similarly climate-friendly means of transport, with the kilometre threshold due to drop to 100 kilometres by 1 January 2026. Since 1 January 2023, the amendment to the Packaging Regulation (VVO) has required commercial packaging placed on the market exclusively to be returned via a collection and recovery system. As a waste management company, Energie AG Oberösterreich Umwelt Service GmbH (Umwelt Service GmbH) is essentially limited to logistics and handling services for only a part of the paper and cardboard volumes and – unlike before – is no longer permitted to market these volumes itself.

The general conditions for the recycling materials paper/cardboard and metals deteriorated compared with the previous year. Metal prices fell year-on-year, particularly at the beginning of the 2022/2023 fiscal year. In the reporting period, the average price for steel scrap was around 15% below the previous year's level, but above the long-term average.

There was again a significant price decline in recovered paper/cardboard in the 2022/2023 fiscal year following record figures in 2021/2022. This development was reflected in statistics including the Wiesbaden Index for paper and cardboard packaging.

Business development in the Waste Management Segment

Despite the challenging economic environment in the 2022/2023 fiscal year, the Waste Management Segment once again managed to achieve stable economic development at a high level.

In the 2022/2023 fiscal year, sales revenues in the Waste Management Segment amounted to EUR 274.7 million (previous year 272.6 million), representing an increase of 0.8%. EBIT decreased by EUR 3.5 million to EUR 30.4 million compared with the previous year (EUR 33.9 million).

Compared to the previous year, declines in sales revenues, prompted by price trends for the recycling materials paper/cardboard and scrap metal, were more than compensated for by electricity and heat revenues for the volumes decoupled from the waste incineration plant Welser Abfallverwertung (WAV).

In addition to lower prices for the recycling materials paper/cardboard and scrap metal, the year-on-year decline in earnings was primarily due to inflation-driven increases in expenses such as operating costs.

Stable development in waste management services

The waste incineration plants at Wels and Lenzing achieved a throughput of about 601,900 tonnes of incinerated waste volume. This is equivalent to an increase of 1.9% compared with the previous year. At the Lenzing waste incineration plant, the annual inspection took place in spring. At the Wels waste incineration plant, the overhaul of line 2 was completed in June/July 2023, with line 1 being completed in August/September 2023.

Umwelt Service GmbH took over the exclusive heat supply to the district heating network of eww ag as of 1 May 2022. As a result, households and companies in the Wels area are primarily supplied with heat from waste incineration. Solar energy and biomass are also fed into the grid. The past 2022/2023 fiscal year was the first full fiscal year following the redistribution of activities between Umwelt Service GmbH and eww ag. Looking back, the initial results are very positive. Umwelt Service GmbH ensured an uninterrupted supply of district heating to the eww ag grid for the Wels area. In December 2022, there was an unplanned shutdown of the waste incineration plant in Wels for three days. During this period, the district heating supply was ensured by the newly-constructed backup system of hot water generators provided for this purpose.

Incinerated waste volume

in 1,000 t

Incinerated waste volume (bar chart)

In the reporting period, the waste incineration plant in Wels distributed 283 GWh of heat (previous year: 243 GWh) to the district heating network and to one other key account customer. Electricity procurement totalled 184 GWh (previous year: 198 GWh).

The treatment plants for hazardous waste in Steyr were again very well utilised in the year under review. In terms of maintenance, the focus was primarily on the renovation of the CPO plant (chemical/physical treatment plant for organic waste). In addition, the fire alarm and extinguishing systems were upgraded.

Compared with the fiscal year 2021/2022, the total volume handled in the Waste Management Segment slightly dropped by approx. 2.9% to a total of some 1,529,000 t (previous year: 1,575,000 t). While the volumes in Austria declined, particularly in the area of construction waste, collection systems and commercial and industrial waste, there was an overall increase in volumes in South Tyrol.

Various investment projects were implemented at the sales locations in the reporting period. Among other things, building work began on a new office building at the Hörsching location in the scope of site reorientation, as the existing building had to be sold due to the four-lane expansion of the western railway line. At the Mühldorf location, for example, a PV system was used to roof the waste collection centre, and there was an investment in a transformer.

Total waste volume handled

in 1,000 t

Total waste volume handled (bar chart)

In the scope of the “LOOP” project, Umwelt Service GmbH took part in the tender for promoting zero-emission commercial vehicles and infrastructure (ENIN) and was awarded funding for the purchase of 3 electric trucks and the associated electric charging infrastructure at the Redlham location. The vehicles and charging infrastructure will be procured in the 2023/2024 fiscal year.

The investigations throughout Austria into the area of collection and transport in the waste management industry initiated by the Federal Competition Authority (BWB) in 2021 are still in progress. Umwelt Service GmbH is actively assisting in the investigation and has submitted a report. The BWB's response to this is still outstanding.

Despite lower prices for paper as a recycling material and higher personnel leasing expenses, stable results were achieved at the Neumarkt location in South Tyrol. Operations in the management of commercial and industrial waste and production of refuse-derived fuels (RDF) and glass sorting saw a positive development.

In the WDL-WasserdienstleistungsGmbH (WDL GmbH), the framework conditions for drinking water supply and waste water management in Austria were largely stable during the reporting period. At WDL GmbH, the main focus was on maintaining the secure supply of drinking water and further developing the services offered.