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 it covers a variety of materials, each recyclable waste stream may be managed and (in some cases) regulated differently.
TI recycles office refuse through a variety of means. Workplaces and conference rooms have recycling bins for office paper, corrugated boxes, pamphlets, folders 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.
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 due to its on-the-go culture, 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 of our Texas sites instituted cafeteria waste programs as well.
TI sites work with cafeteria vendors to provide customers with compostable to-go boxes, cups, straws, napkins and utensils. Although using compostable items was slightly more expensive than foam or plastic, TI subsidized the expense. Where possible, these sites also try to:
As a bonus, a local company in Plano, Texas, 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 also use some of the products for our own on-site landscaping.
- 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 waste.
- Procure more organic or locally grown food.
Outside the U.S., where the norm 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
TI recycles waste from its manufacturing processes as well, including employee personal protective equipment and other items. For example:
TI has 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, ensuring that it will be reused in an environmentally responsible way.
- 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.
Scrap silicon wafers
TI uses silicon wafers as the foundation for the development of its semiconductor products. Many silicon wafers are reused as "test wafers" to calibrate equipment, fill partial lots in process, and collect environment readings from equipment.
When repeated reuse of the wafers makes them too thin or too dirty for further use, we send the unusable silicon through a wafer-pattern- and coating-removal process that eliminates any circuitry or films. This makes the remaining silicon a valuable raw material for solar-panel fabricators.
Since 2003, our recycled wafers have produced enough solar panels to supply electricity year-round to 1,600 homes and prevent 10,900 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere - the equivalent to planting half a million trees.
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 of electronic equipment used at work, including computer monitors and laptops. We also provide forums for employees to share information on recycling personal e-waste.