In line with the circular economy, we work to reduce or eliminate waste in our operations and keep resources in use for as long as possible. We first focus on reducing waste generation at the source. We then work to increase reuse and recycling and manage materials in an environmentally protective manner.

In 2019, we updated our waste management standard and communicated the requirements to all locations. These requirements include a site waste management plan; an inventory of all waste streams generated onsite; onsite waste storage areas that meet all local regulatory requirements; a comprehensive waste training program; and tracking of non-hazardous and hazardous waste metrics.

Our landfilled waste increased 7.7 percent in 2019 compared to prior year. This was primarily due to the landfill of demolition material from our former Poços de Caldas smelter in Brazil, materials generated from significant housekeeping and maintenance-related activities and an increase in spent pot lining sent to the landfill due to supply chain disruption.

In 2019, we revised our long-term waste goal to focus on landfilled waste rather than by-product materials. This was due to a desire to emphasize waste reduction at the source and move from disposal to other options, including reduction, reuse and recycling, using the waste management hierarchy.

Our new goal is a 15 percent reduction in landfilled waste by 2025 and 25 percent by 2030 from a 2015 baseline.


► Hide the table▼ Show the table

Thousands of metric tons

Landfilled Recycled/Reused
2015 233.7 224.5
2016 142.0 194.7
2017 149.0 232.8
2018 209.9 184.9
2019 226.1 217.6

Case Studies

    A Fresh Look at Waste

    A fresh look at two wastes streams at our Intalco Works smelter opened the door to beneficial reuse, helping the location meet waste-reduction goals.

    Read more >


    At the Deschambault smelter in Québec (Canada), there are nearly 219 reasons why a focused effort on eliminating landfilled waste can be successful.

    Read more >