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 2016, 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 three percent of our overall manufacturing refuse stream in 2014 to less than one percent in 2015.

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 take 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 2015 include:

  • Our Massachusetts campus locations recycled more than 860 metric tons, and composted more than 131 metric tons of waste.  At this time, we are unable to estimate the percent of material diverted from landfill since a large portion of our waste is sent to a single-stream facility where sorting occurs after the total mixed load is weighed.
  • Our North Carolina locations recycled more than 797 metric tons, and composted more than 15.6 metric tons of waste, in total accounting for more than 89% of the material handled in 2015. 
  • Our Cork, Ireland, location recycled more than 955 metric tons, reused 356 metric tons, composted over 43 metric tons and sent 137 metric tons of waste for Energy Recovery, in total accounting for 95% of the material handled in 2015.   
  • Our Bangalore, India, location recycled 54.93 metric tons and reused 4.96 metric tons – approximately 74 percent of the waste generated.

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 99 percent avoidance of the total waste stream to landfill in 2015. In 2015, 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. 

Recycling & Waste

Operating the densifier

Recycling & Waste

White foam packaging compressed and heated to form a patty


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 2.7 metric tons of hazardous waste during 2015, which was removed and managed by licensed specialists.

In 2015, there were no significant spills on any EMC property.