Sustainability at Clean Harbors

Clean Harbors is keenly aware of the role the Company plays in the environmental, energy and industrial services industries regarding the use and management of our valuable natural resources. We have developed numerous programs and initiatives to ensure that all operations comply with environmental policies, and we focus on activities that will improve the company’s and our customer’s impact on the environment.  View our sustainability brochure

As an environmentally conscious company, we are committed to recycling and reclaiming wastes using a variety of methods.  Learn more about how Clean Harbors helps customers be environmentally responsible

2013 Sustainability Initiative

Clean Harbors initiated a pilot study sustainability initiative for 2013. Our El Dorado, Arkansas, incineration facility; Grassy Mountain, Utah landfill; and Chicago, Illinois, solvent recycle facility were selected to establish greenhouse gas and recycling programs. At each location we calculated the Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions for 2012. We monitored these facilities in 2013 for greenhouse gas emissions and our goal was to maintain emissions on a proportional basis year-over-year. Each facility also developed waste recycling and reduction programs for 2013. The individual location programs are listed below along with 2013 results. 

El Dorado Incineration Facility

Greenhouse Gas Emissions                                        2013 Goal 2013 Results
2012 Scope 1 180,078 metric ton equivalents of CO2/yr 103,757
2012 Scope 2 270,983 metric ton equivalents of CO2/yr 248,401
2012 Scope 3 54,910 metric ton equivalents of CO2/yr 50,334
Recycling Goals for 2013
Cardboard/Paper Recycling 300,000 lbs/yr 378,000 lbs
Metal Recovery 3,000,000 lbs/yr 4.3 Million lbs
Pallets 4,000 pallets/yr 5,876
Ink Cartridges 120 cartridges/yr 48

Grassy Mountain Landfill

Greenhouse Gas Emissions
2012 Scope 1 847 metric ton equivalents of CO2/yr 992
2012 Scope 2 1,496 metric ton equivalents of CO2/yr 1,486
2012 Scope 3 6,116 metric ton equivalents of CO2/yr 5,606
Recycling Goals for 2013
Cardboard/Paper Recycling 6 cubic yards/yr 40 cubic yards
Landfill Leachate Waste for Beneficial Reuse On Site Reuse 60% or more of leachate produced Reused 142,385 gals of the 358,992 gals of leachate produced. 39.7% reuse.

Chicago Solvent Recycling Facility

Greenhouse Gas Emissions                                          
2012 Scope 1 5,183 metric ton equivalents of CO2/yr 5,222
2012 Scope 2 2,723 metric ton equivalents of CO2/yr 1,826
2012 Scope 3 3,074 metric ton equivalents of CO2/yr 2,817
Recycling Goals for 2013                                            2013 Goal 2013 Actual
Cardboard/Paper/Glass/Aluminum Recycling 83 cubic yards/yr 644 yds - 104 dumpster loads of paper (assume 6 yds) 1 roll off of metal (20 yds)
Used Drum Recycling 290 drums/yr 200 drums
Wood Pallet Recycling 1 truckload/yr 0
Purchased Paper Reduction Reduce 2012 purchases by 5% 2% reduction (50 cases bought in 2012, 49 cases bought in 2013)
Purchased Glass Sample Jar Reduction Reduce 2012 purchases by 5% 48% increase (156 cases in 2012, 232 cases bought in  2013)

Renewable Energy Development

Clean Harbors is developing Company property into alternative power and energy projects, as well as revitalizing Brownfield properties.  Several Clean Harbors locations are being evaluated for their potential to support solar, co-generation, wind, geothermal, and waste-heat sources of energy for use within the location or for external use.  Learn more


Clean Harbors is an ENERGY STAR Partner.  Through this program, Clean Harbors has implemented a proven energy management strategy that helps measure energy performance, set goals, and track energy reduction.

Energy Efficiency Improvements

Clean Harbors is enrolled in electricity curtailment programs at several waste processing facilities, and has implemented energy efficiency improvements, such as programmable lighting, HVAC controls right sizing electric motors and pumps.  We implemented a company policy to manage personal computer power consumption for all employees.  Upon initial roll out, this policy reduced energy consumption by 397,000 kWh.

Green Purchasing

Clean Harbors purchases recycled materials and supplies versus new, where practical.  The company purchases containers and drums made from post-consumer plastic, and uses recycled steel drums.  We also use biodegradable degreasers in cleaning processes at all locations.

Recycling Programs

Clean Harbors has a company-wide paper and cardboard recycling program.

Transportation Fleet Initiatives

Clean Harbors runs its transportation fleet and equipment more efficiently and reduces its overall fuel consumption.  Computerized auto-idler systems and GPS based vehicle performance programs track and manage engine and vehicle efficiencies and measure many statistics, including fuel efficiency and idle time.

Railroad Initiatives

Clean Harbors routinely uses rail transportation to offset the need to truck transportation of waste materials destined for our waste processing facilities.  Moving material by rail greatly offsets fuel consumption and emissions from truck transportation.