Heritage has determined the boundaries of our sustainability program to include all business operations owned and under our management control. As such, the information provided here is for the comprehensive organization of Heritage Environmental Services — including subsidiaries Heritage Interactive Services, Heritage Thermal Services, Heritage Transport Services, Solid Oak, and Rineco Chemical Industries.
Heritage is involved in every aspect of the waste management hierarchy: prevention, reuse, deconstruction, detoxification, treatment, and disposal. First and foremost, Heritage is a solutions company, offering customers quality management services, innovation, and a safety/compliance mind-set. Heritage owns and operates six TSDFs (U.S. RCRA regulated treatment, storage and disposal facilities) — including a hazardous waste incinerator, hazardous waste landfill and an energy-from-waste fuels blending facility.
Our acquisition of Rineco Chemical Industries in 2017 added a new layer of expertise and efficiency for our customers to move away from waste disposal toward beneficial reuse of byproduct materials. Our facility is the largest fuel blending operation in the U.S. We convert liquid and solid waste-derived fuels into an environmentally friendly secondary fuel source to replace coal and natural gas in cement kilns. This facility is now a vital part of our network of TSDF facilities strategically located across the United States.
Through a fleet of truck and rail resources, Heritage has an extensive national network of transportation in the continental United States. We can ensure complete transportation and logistic services for full compliance. We recognize that movement of materials by rail is four times more carbon efficient than movement by truck. As such we utilize rail between our facilities as much as possible and continue to encourage customers to also utilize rail for major projects and whenever possible. Heritage actively participates in the US EPA SmartWay Transportation program and has been recognized twice (2015 and 2016) for our results in reducing the carbon emissions of our fleet. We continue to replace older equipment and demand that new equipment has the latest features to minimize emissions.
Heritage frequently provides onsite service programs for byproduct management and industrial maintenance services. Customized program services are contracted on a regional or enterprise wide basis by large multi-site manufacturing organizations. These byproduct management and other programs focus on proper management of waste/recycling, cost, risk, and sustainability reporting data. Many Heritage customers have achieved or have the goal of Zero Landfill. We operate several post-industrial recycling facilities, where we specialize in finding solutions for hard-to-recycle materials and creating greater value for commonly recycled materials.
Our professional services group provides support to customers in the areas of emergency response and disaster recovery. This commitment to addressing our customers concerns regarding potential risks from climate change are backed by lessons learned during our extensive remediation services provided for a major customer after the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the collection of household hazardous wastes for many communities after Hurricanes Sandy, Harvey, Irma, Maria and Florence as this goes to press.
Our Solid Oak operations support the Shale Oil and Gas Industry with water transfer and well site support. These efforts have expanded our ability to assist new and existing customers with safe and environmentally sound practices in the pursuit of new energy sources.
Heritage provides sustainability reporting on multiple platforms including the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), EcoVadis, and customized customer dashboards in our IS2 Interactive database.
As part of our ongoing annual carbon footprint calculations and CDP reporting (since 2011), Heritage established short- and mid-term goals for energy reduction (Scope 1 and 2) of 6% by 2021 and 10% by 2025. Effective with our 2018 report, Heritage has accomplished a reduction of 33%. To learn more on how we accomplished these reductions and how we continue our efforts, see Initiatives and Milestones.
Major Initiatives and Milestones
Representative Case Studies
Ford Motor Company, S.A de C.V.
Leading Manufacturer of Aerospace Equipment
Over 20 years of partnering helped us to become a Key Supplier for this Aerospace Manufacturer.
A Regional Pesticide Manufacturer
Combating an EPA administrative order with expertise and efficient service.
Subaru Automotive of Indiana
See how we manage the United States' first zero landfill assembly site.
A Multi-National Oil and Gas Company
Heritage helped with recovery of valuable resources even in an emerging situation.
Big 3 Automotive
Aggressive goals exceeded by Heritage for this major auto manufacturer
An American Multinational Consumer Goods Company
Heritage found resources in this brand's waste, making it more green.
A Midwest Regional Power Company
A quick response by Heritage helps save a public lake.
A Food & Beverage Packaging Company
Thousands of tons of filter cake waste diverted from landfills.
A Canadian Railway Company
Big transportation savings put this company back on track.
Our 7 C’s
- Compliance with all applicable laws and regulations; and conformance with international norms of behavior;
- Conduct of operations to minimize adverse impacts to the environment and the surrounding communities;
- Commitment to ongoing investments in our employees, facilities, and Research & Development;
- Communication of our sustainability philosophy to stakeholders;
- Consideration of the framework found in ISO 26000: Guidance on Social Responsibility and other consensus codes and initiatives, as appropriate, in our activities and reporting to stakeholders;
- Choices for our customers and supply chain partners that are more sustainable than the alternatives available in the markets where we operate; and
- Continuous improvement of our performance.
Heritage Contributes to the Circular Economy in Steel
Heritage Environmental Services’ (“Heritage”) recent announcement of a partnership with Zinc Nacional (“ZN”) to construct a new facility to recycle electric arc furnace (“EAF”) dust, a listed hazardous waste, to manufacture zinc oxide, is an excellent example of how Real Recycling: The Heritage Way is intended to work. It’s the embodiment of the Circular Economy. A circular economy is a regenerative system in which resource input and waste are minimized by slowing, closing, and narrowing energy and material loops; this can be achieved through long-lasting design, maintenance, repair, reuse, remanufacturing, refurbishing, recycling, and upcycling. This is in contrast to a linear economy which is a ‘take, make, dispose’ model of production. The simplified graphic below depicts the Heritage-ZN partnership as it relates to the steel mini-mill industry.
Traditionally, the majority of domestic steel production has been by large integrated steel mills that manufacture steel in blast furnaces using mined iron ore as the primary feedstock. Since the 1980’s, there has been a transition from manufacturing steel from mined iron ore to using scrap steel (e.g., old cars and appliances) as the primary raw material. The technology used by steel mini-mills to recycle scrap steel to produce new steel is the electric arc furnace. Today, the majority of domestic steel production comes from mini-mills.
Much of the steel that is produced is galvanized, that is, coated with zinc, to protect the steel and extend its life. When this scrap steel is remelted in electric arc furnaces, the zinc fumes off and is captured in the mini-mill’s air pollution control equipment as EAF dust. EAF dust is listed as a hazardous waste by U.S. EPA regulation because of its lead and cadmium content. On average, EAF dust contains approximately 20% zinc. By comparison, virgin ore from zinc mines typically contains 5-12% zinc.
Historically, much of the EAF dust generated was disposed of in landfills. In the early 1980s, a technology called a Waelz kiln was modified to use EAF dusts as a raw material in the manufacture of a crude zinc oxide that averages greater than 50% zinc. This a prime example of a waste material being viewed as a “resource out of place,” in the spirit of “one’s person’s waste is another person’s raw material.”
In short: steel is manufactured; then typically it is galvanized (i.e., coated with zinc) to greatly extend its useful lifespan; the galvanized steel subsequently is used to create bridges, cars, appliances, fences, garbage cans and guard rails. At the end of its lifespan, these goods are turned into scrap metal and purchased by steel mini-mills to feed to their EAF furnaces to produce new steel for sale. During this process, the zinc coating boils off and is captured as a dust with other metals in the mini-mill’s air pollution control equipment. The vast majority of EAF dust generated is sent to facilities such as the one being built by the Heritage-ZN partnership to be recycled and delivered back to steel companies to galvanize their products. A great example of closing the recycling loop.
Heritage is proud to continue its participation in the Circular Economy and promotion of the principles of sustainable development (i.e., prudent use of natural resources to meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs). Stay tuned for more news as this partnership continues to evolve.