Waste Management Segment

The Waste Management Segment handles a total waste volume of around 1.5 million tonnes a year (previous year: 1.6 million t) at 24 facilities. 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 environmental targets of the Waste Management Segment are stated in the current environmental declaration 2023 pursuant to EMAS.

The Waste Management Segment always strives to find new ways of disposing waste that work hand in hand with the circular economy. A comprehensive and integrated back-to-back circular economy is only made possible by uncompromising changes in the product design to be adopted by the manufacturers.

The majority of the waste volumes handled 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.

Waste management services are always provided with an eye on preserving and substituting fossil fuels 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 recycling of the residual slag from waste incineration at Energie AG's Wels plant has been ongoing for more than 10 years. About a quarter of the input mass remains after the incineration process in the form of inert residual substances (slag) that also contain various types of metals. In a multi-stage mechanical separation process using a mobile treatment plant, ferrous and non-ferrous metals are extracted from the slag. These raw materials (aluminium, copper, brass and stainless steel) are separated, recycled and returned into the metal processing cycle to replace primary raw materials, which also saves CO2 emissions in comparison to primary production. 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. For more than 30 years, biomonitoring has not detected any environmental impact.

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.

A key objective of the Waste Management Segment lies in compensating for emissions caused by own plants and reducing the consumption of resources. The CO2 footprint determined in cooperation with the Environment Agency Austria in the 2019/2020 fiscal year forms the basis of the climate change mitigation strategy that the Waste Management Segment is implementing in order to achieve CO2 neutrality. According to Environment Agency Austria (UBA), 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 UBA, 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 photovoltaics. The positive development of these projects with respect to the CO2 footprint is monitored continuously.

The site in 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 Umwelt Service GmbH. In Wels, Energie AG makes a positive contribution to the circular economy and climate change mitigation by returning humified organic substances and nutrients to the natural cycle by means of pre-treated compost materials. The compost material of Energie AG is of quality class A+, which means that it can not only be used for soil maintenance with fruits and vegetables, but also for the establishment of new vegetation and lawn areas.

All of the Waste Management Segment's departments with centralised functions were consolidated in Wels in fiscal year 2021/2022.

Total waste volume in tonnes 1)








By waste type







Non-recyclable waste














Plastics & packaging














Organic waste














By hazardous substance







Hazardous waste







Non-hazardous waste







By waste management method 1)


















































The waste management method relates to the prevalent waste management method after waste generation. The total waste volume for the Waste Management Segment includes the volumes from Energie AG Südtirol Umwelt Service GmbH.

Note 1: So-called non-recyclable waste is generated in private households. The first treatment stage takes place at the waste incineration plant. The incineration produces residual substances that are then processed in additional steps. The subsequent processing steps are disregarded as the waste volumes are significantly smaller than the originally produced non-recyclable waste.

Note 2: Batches of separately collected packaging materials (such as paper, glass, plastic) always contain wrongly discarded packaging materials. A sorting machine separates these misplaced materials from the recyclable materials. The by far biggest portion of the waste materials can be recycled. As a result, the collected paper, plastic and packaging materials as well as glass items come under the recycling category in terms of their disposal method.

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.

The following diagram illustrates the transition from a linear economy to a circular economy. A large quantity of waste is already being recycled or reused. Ultimately, at the end of a product’s useful life, the only option still is landfill or incineration.

Through its waste management services and other services, Umwelt Service GmbH performs many activities within the circular economy, including the production of quality compost, the degassing and dismantling of refrigeration units, the mechanical processing of mixed waste to obtain recyclable fractions and the generation of electricity and heat from the incineration of non-recyclable waste.


Water supply and waste water management services

The Waste Management Segment also offers water supply and waste water management services to cities and municipalities across Austria. In fiscal year 2022/2023, the Waste Management Segment, via WDL, supplied around 150,000 persons (previous year: 130,000) with approx. 9.1 million m3 of drinking water (previous year: 9.0 m3) that is sourced from wells in a number of waterworks and delivered to the customers (municipal customers) at defined transfer points.

No noteworthy water losses occur within the transport pipe network, which is owned by the Waste Management Segment. The differences between the measuring points at wells or tanks and water meter chambers at the customer’s end fall 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.