Waste management

GRI 306-2

Russian Railways views efficient waste management as a prerequisite for transitioning to the circular economy. In the long run, the Company seeks to minimise waste sent to landfills by increasing its processing.

Production and consumption waste

GRI 306-3

In 2022, Russian Railways generated 1.41 mt of production and consumption waste.

Hazard class 1 – 123.33 t;
Hazard class 2 – 48 t;
Hazard class 3 – 120,780 t;
Hazard class 4 – 185,510 t;
Hazard class 5 – 1,105.100 t.

0.05 mt of the total volume of waste was disposed of or decontaminated by the Company’s units. Given the waste generated by other business units in 2022, 1.45 mt of waste was transferred to third parties, including:

  • 1.08 mt for subsequent disposal;
  • 0.16 mt for decontamination;
  • 0.21 mt for burial.

In 2022, the share of production and consumption waste sent to be buried amounted to 13.7%, which is 1.1 pp below 2021 (14.8%).

Over 80% of the waste generated by Russian Railways is decontaminated, reused or recycled. Most of it (ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metals and used petroleum products) is handled by waste processing professionals. In addition, waste is disposed of and decontaminated in accordance with the classes 1–4 waste management licence obtained by Russian RailwaysMinutes No. L020-00113-77/00114264 dated 21 December 2021..

Waste generation and waste sent to landfillsThe share is calculated based on waste generated (taking into account waste accumulated as at the beginning of the period) and sent to be buried (including municipal solid waste transferred to a regional operator) in the reporting period in accordance with the 2-TP federal statistic form (waste) as regards reporting of industrial and consumer waste generated, processed, disposed of, decontaminated and sent to landfills., kt
Structure of waste generation by hazard class in the reporting year

Waste management

We are progressively implementing a policy to foster sustainable waste management practices relying on circular economy principles. In 2022, we took various steps to increase the share of reused or recycled waste:

  • Reshetnikovo, Yanaul and Podvoloshnaya railway stations of the October, Gorky, and Sverdlovskaya railways operate facilities to recycle reinforced concrete sleepers into crushed aggregate for construction and clean scrap reinforcement steel. In 2022, we processed 21,300 reinforced concrete sleepers.
  • The Ukladochny and Perm-Sortirovochnaya railway stations (the West-Siberian and Sverdlovskaya Railways) operate two disposal units for industrial rubber products. In 2022, the units recycled 610.6 t of waste, producing 365 t of rubber granules and 17,000 sq m of rubber flooring. In December 2022, a plant to process industrial rubber products was commissioned at the Tulun station of the East Siberian Railway.
  • Thermal neutralisation facilities of the Research and Production Centre for the Environmental Protection located in Yaroslavl and at the Tagul railway station decontaminated 7.9 kt of industrial and medical waste, including 92,000 used wooden sleepers.
  • The reporting year saw a cogeneration unit at the Chernyakhovsk railway station of the Kaliningrad Railway consume hard fuel made of 31,900 wooden rails, generating 4,551 Gcal of heat and saving 618,35 cu m of natural gas.

Russian Railways implements standard solutions for separate waste accumulation by engaging cleaning and outsourcing companies. In 2022, amendments were made to the Standard Cleaning Technology for Railway Station Complexes of the Railway Station Directorate to ensure separate accumulation of secondary materials and unsorted municipal solid waste.

To reduce the amount of landfilled waste, we engaged cleaning and outsourcing companies to take part in the selective collection of paper, glass and plastic.

In 2022, there were 2,191 t of waste paper (cardboard), glass, plastic and household aluminium sent for recycling, up 337 t or 18% y-o-y (1,854 t in 2021). Among secondary materials, it is paper and cardboard waste that is most often sent for recycling. To reduce the volumes of waste paper, we take steps to introduce electronic workflow.

In 2022, 17 railway stations were furnished with 26 reverse vending machines collecting plastic bottles and aluminium cans. The reporting year saw some 200,000 containers accepted for recycling, including 80% of plastic waste and 20% of household aluminium.

We developed a project to install waste collection bins in the vestibules of ED electric trains for separate waste accumulation.

Project to process industrial rubber products at the Tulun station

In December 2022, a facility to process rubber waste products was launched at the Tulun station.

Rail pads are collected as part of a procedure to disassemble old year dual gauge track. They can now be recycled along with waste tyres to make rubber granules, which are used in rubber tiles flooring, both for the Company’s own needs and for sale.

Annual processing volumes are estimated at 680 t of rubber products translating into 476 t of rubber granules, or 8,164 sq m of tiles.

This is the third such project introduced at Russian Railways.

Project to process industrial rubber products at the Tulun station