Our Waste Management Unit at a Glance

Areas of Activity Underground recovery, underground waste disposal, Secondary Aluminium (REKAL), building material recycling
Sites 8
Employees in the unit 330
Employees at the headquarters 28
Turnover 2018 89.1 million Euros
Annual capacity Underground disposal: more than a million tonnes
REKAL plant: 110,000 tonnes
Building material recycling: 650,000 tonnes
Quantities already stored Approx. 13.2 million tonnes
Of which 9.5 million tonnes is underground recovery, 3.7 million tonnes is underground disposal
International setting Customers in 30 countries
5 sales offices abroad:
Switzerland, France, Italy, Poland and Great Britain
Experience in the field of underground disposal 45 years

Fascinating facts from our world

300 metres of salt

Segregation of waste from the biosphere through gigantic natural barriers: salt (gas) 300 m, clay (waterproof) > 30 m, bunter sandstone 500 m

+52 °C to -31 °C

Hot and cold: At +52 °C at a of depth of 1,450 metres in the Sigmundshall facility, the miners are working up a sweat. By contrast, it is -31 °C at Bethune mine in Regina, Canada.

14 tonnes of salt

The average person consumes 14 tonnes of salt and 600 kilograms of potash throughout their lives. This is 235 times the weight of an average person.

7,800 kilometres

7,800 kilometres: The longest distance waste is transported to reach K+S.

Retrieval of waste

K+S has by now retrieved two to three percent of the total waste deposited underground. Thus, valuable substances such as copper, soft iron, scrap steel, selenium, tellurium, nickel, and vanadium could be recovered and reused in production.

Longer than Chile

The roads in the Werra mine facility stretch for 4,600 kilometres. This is longer than the country Chile is from north to south by more than 200 kilometres.

1.10 metres

The largest salt crystals in the world have an edge length of 1.10 metres. They can be found in the Crystal Grotto in the Merkers Mine Adventure Park in Thuringia.

Millions of years

The mudstone layers are very adaptable and impermeable to water. Despite all the movement in the earth's crust, they have retained a sealing effect for millions of years.

100,000 m³ of air

Ventilation, what miners call ‘weathering’, is extremely important for our mines. The Werra plant receives 100,000 m³ of air per minute. In comparison, an adult requires about 0.007 m³ per minute. This amount of air is theoretically enough for 14.2 million people.

1,100 vehicles

Underground at the Werra plant alone, more than 1,100 vehicles and mobile machines are in operation.