Texas Instruments

2012 Corporate Citizenship Report

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Recycled waste

Office waste | Organic waste | Used manufacturing supplies | Scrap silicon wafers | E-waste | Industrial waste

Recyclable waste is a byproduct of manufacturing and office activities. In general, recyclable waste includes materials such as paper, glass, plastic and cardboard; organic materials; electronic devices; spent office supplies and packaging; organic waste; or other materials. Because recyclable waste comprises a variety of materials, each waste stream may be managed and (in some cases) regulated differently.

Office waste

We recycle office refuse through a variety of means. Workplaces and conference rooms have recycling bins for office paper, corrugated boxes and aluminum cans. Recyclables are picked up from office as well as factory areas; transported to our building docks; weighed, sorted and bundled; and sent to recycling centers.

Organic waste

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the U.S. spends $1 billion to dispose of food waste annually. With Americans throwing away an estimated 96 billion pounds of food each year, their food scraps make up the third-largest waste stream after paper and yard waste.

After TI Malaysia's success in collecting organic material from the cafeteria and allowing it to break down into compost and fertilizer, several Texas sites instituted cafeteria waste programs as well.

Our sites work with cafeteria vendors to provide employees with compostable to-go boxes, cups, straws, napkins and utensils. Where possible, these sites also try to:
  • Eliminate the use of foam and plastic.
  • Reduce the amount of to-go containers by offering dine-in specials.
  • Require that diners separate and recycle waste.
  • Recycle napkin and paper-towel waste from cafeterias and restrooms.
  • Reduce or eliminate individual food and tray wrappers.
  • Collect food cafeteria waste.
  • Procure more organic or locally grown food.
In Texas, a local company takes our organic waste and composts it off-site to create compost, topdressing and soil-blend products for sale in the community. The community benefits and we use some of their products for our own on-site landscaping.

Outside the U.S., where the custom is to dine in, many of our sites do not offer disposal containers. They instead provide reusable dishes in employee cafeterias and collect food waste for composting or animal feed.

Used manufacturing supplies

We recycle waste from manufacturing processes, including employee personal protective equipment and other items. For example:
  • Booties and hairnets worn each day are collected and shipped to a facility that recycles them to make more nylon and plastics.
  • Wafer carriers are cleaned and reused when possible. Otherwise, they are ground up and put back into use by the plastics industry.
  • Empty chemical containers are cleaned, shredded, baled and consolidated for shipment; we sell the material back to the plastics industry for reuse.
  • Wafer fab shoes in good condition are donated to local nonprofit organizations.
  • Manufacturing equipment is reused in different facilities or sold, when feasible.
We have a comprehensive program for disposing equipment used in manufacturing processes. Our objective, whenever possible, is to prolong the life of the equipment and keep it in active commerce, either by using it elsewhere within our own operations or by selling it for continued use. If neither option is practical, then we decommission it, clean it and sell the equipment for scrap, so it can be reused in an environmentally responsible way.

Scrap silicon wafers

Silicon wafers are the foundation for the development of TI's semiconductor products. Many silicon wafers are reused as "test wafers" in our manufacturing processes.

When repeated reuse of the wafers makes them too thin or too dirty for further use, we send the silicon through a wafer-pattern- and coating-removal process that eliminates any circuitry or films. We sell the remaining silicon – still a valuable raw material in this form – as scrap to solar-panel fabricators.


TI participates in take-back programs for our education technology products and encourages employees to recycle old cellphones and printer-ink cartridges through local or regional vendors. In addition, we educate them on internal processes for properly disposing electronic equipment used at work, including computer monitors and laptops. We also provide forums for employees to share information on recycling personal e-waste.