Our Waste Management Unit at a Glance
|Areas of Activity||Underground recovery, underground waste disposal, Secondary Aluminium (REKAL), building material recycling|
|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: 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.
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.
Underground at the Werra plant alone, more than 1,100 vehicles and mobile machines are in operation.