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Recycling & Waste

EMC continues to increase recycling and material reuse in our owned and operated facilities, and encourages recycling and reuse in our leased facilities. In addition to meeting regulatory requirements for waste reduction and recycling in the countries where we operate, EMC’s global waste minimization strategy is to seek opportunities to augment and expand reduction techniques, material reuse, and recycling efforts. Looking ahead in 2015, we will continue to explore evolving technologies, collaborate globally to expand successful regional waste initiatives, and drive employee engagement across business units.

Minimizing Manufacturing Waste

We further reduced the waste we sent to landfill from four percent of our overall manufacturing refuse stream in 2013 to three percent in 2014.

Recycling & Composting

We are continuously looking for opportunities to improve our reuse, recycling, and composting efforts at our global facilities in order to reduce waste. Throughout the world, EMC facilities maintain convenient recycling points for employees’ use, including paper and plastic collection bins in office areas as well as recycling and compost containers in our cafeterias. In addition, we use the following approach to capture recyclable materials in our facilities:

  • In our Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, California, and Cork locations, recyclables are removed from the waste stream by waste management contractors or municipal providers.
  • In our manufacturing operations, waste materials are segregated and recycled by our waste management vendors into reusable commodities, reducing the overall cost of recycling to the business.

Highlights from 2014 include:

  • Our Massachusetts campus locations recycled more than 595 metric tons, and composted more than 123 metric tons of waste. Overall, the Massachusetts campus facilities generated 12 percent less solid waste in 2014 as compared to 2013.
  • Our North Carolina locations recycled more than 562 metric tons, and composted more than 17.1 metric tons of waste. The total solid waste generated at our North Carolina campus locations decreased 2.3 percent from 2013 to 2014.
  • Our Cork, Ireland, location recycled more than 929 metric tons, and composted over 31 metric tons of waste. The total solid waste generated at the Ireland COE decreased 4.4 percent from 2013 to 2014.
  • The Bangalore, India, location recycled 25.84 metric tons and reused 2.39 metric tons – approximately 66 percent of the waste generated.
Recycling & Waste

Although EMC generated less compost in 2014 compared to 2013, this was the direct result of an overall decrease in total waste generated at the Massachusetts and North Carolina campus facilities during 2014, as noted in the highlights section.

The graphic below depicts our solid waste metrics from our owned and operated manufacturing locations. Note that operational waste recycling performance depends on both EMC performance and the availability of supporting services by local waste hauling and disposal vendors. This breakdown of waste streams illustrates our key sources of solid waste and demonstrates the complexity of proper waste stream segregation as well as the need for and importance of local recycling services.

Recycling & Waste

Striving for Zero Waste at North Carolina Manufacturing Location
Our manufacturing facility in Apex, North Carolina, is taking an aggressive and creative approach to waste management, and achieved more than 98 percent avoidance of the total waste stream to landfill in 2014. In 2014, we continued to work with our suppliers to reduce the polypropylene and polyethylene foam packaging coming into the facility in the first place, and used equipment to melt the foam that we did receive into highly compressed “bricks” that can be cost-effectively transported to recycling processors. In addition, we worked with our service provider to divert an amount of waste equivalent to our own from landfill to a waste-to-energy facility.


We encourage and accept returns of all EMC-branded products at the end of their useful life. We also strive to re-use office electronics, extend their useful life, and reduce waste at all of our company-owned and operated facilities. When office electronics reach the end of their useful life, they are either returned to those manufacturers who accept them, or sent to IT Asset Disposal suppliers for reuse or recycling.

To learn more about EMC’s vision for and management of eWaste, visit Product End of Life.

Hazardous Waste

We are committed to reducing and eliminating the use of hazardous materials in our operations wherever possible. Our manufacturing operations generate only small quantities of hazardous waste (as defined by the U.S. and Ireland Environmental Protection Agencies). In addition:

  • The Apex, North Carolina, manufacturing facility is a Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator (CESQG) of hazardous waste and a Small Quantity Handler (SQH) of universal waste. As a CESQG, the Apex facility generates 100 kilograms or less of hazardous waste in any calendar month.
  • The Franklin, Massachusetts, manufacturing facility is registered as a Small Quantity Generator (SQG) of hazardous waste and waste oil, and is considered an SQH of universal waste. As an SQG, the Franklin facility generates less than 1,000 kilograms of hazardous waste in any calendar month.
  • The Cork, Ireland, manufacturing facility produced 24.58 metric tons of hazardous waste over the course of 2014 that was removed and managed by specialist licensed operators.

In 2014, there were no significant spills on any EMC property.