Sustainability Report 2016

Waste Disposal

When it comes to waste, we act on the principle “Avoid – reuse – reduce – recycle – dispose”. When we build, convert or dismantle a system, we dispose of any parts we no longer need in resource-friendly ways. For example, the several tons of components of a transformer are returned to the resource cycle. When we dismantled transformers on location in the Wolmirstedt substation in 2016, we recycled or properly disposed of over 160 tons of scrap iron and transformer plates, about 120 tons of copper with cardboard and around 150 tons of waste oil.

We are currently also systematically dismantling the so-called “Reichssammelschiene”, a historic 220 kV grid connecting the once most important power plants between the central German lignite area and southern Germany. Since October 2016, line technicians have been disconnecting the overhead and ground lines from the masts on a total of 56 kilometres between the Magdeburg-Diesdorf substation and Förderstedt in the Salzland district. The lines are wound onto drums, the 155 pylons and foundations are dismantled, and the pylons cut into transportable pieces. All components are removed and the materials recycled according to the German Law on Life-Cycle Management (Kreislaufwirtschaftsgesetz or KrWG).


When waste is disposed, our planners, project managers, purchasers, environmental officers and construction supervisors work hand in hand for proper disposal according to KrWG. There are also supplementary state-specific requirements for handling waste. We have summarised the resulting obligations in a Companyinternal guideline. To legally dispose of hazardous waste, we use the electronic waste tracking system (Elektronisches Abfallnachweisverfahren or eANV). In 2016, about 76,000 tons of 50 different types of waste were disposed of by 50Hertz. The lionʼs share at about 94 per cent consisted of construction and demolition waste such as soil, concrete, rubble, tile or asphalt. We were able to comply with the legally prescribed recycling requirement at a recycling rate of about 85 per cent.

Waste by composition, hazard class and disposal process