Production-Related Waste Managed by Chemical
This figure shows the chemicals that were managed as waste in the greatest quantities from 2007 to 2019.
Note: 1) For comparability, trend graphs include only those chemicals that were reportable to TRI for all years presented. 2) In this figure, metals are combined with their metal compounds, although metals and compounds of the same metal are listed separately on the TRI list (e.g. lead is listed separately from lead compounds).
From 2007 to 2019:
- Facilities reported production-related waste managed for more than 500 chemicals and chemical categories from 2007 to 2019. The nine chemicals for which facilities reported the most production-related waste managed, shown above, represent 50% of the total production-related waste reported.
- Of the chemicals shown above, facilities reported increased quantities of waste managed for: dichloromethane (methylene chloride), lead and lead compounds, cumene, and ethylene.
- Waste managed of ethylene increased by 701 million pounds (66%).
- Dichloromethane waste managed increased over 10-fold, due to 2 facilities that started recycling large quantities of the chemical, one starting in 2013 and the other starting in 2018.
- Cumene recycling increased eight-fold, mostly driven by one facility reporting recycling over 3.4 billion pounds of cumene annually from 2014 to 2019. [Click to view facility details in the TRI P2 Search Tool]
From 2018 to 2019:
- Quantities of TRI chemical waste decreased for numerous chemicals, including:
- Lead and lead compounds decreased by 186.4 million pounds (-14%)
- Methanol decreased by 58.8 million pounds (-3%)
- Hydrochloric acid decreased by 26.4 million pounds (-3%)
- Copper and copper compounds decreased by 26.4 million pounds (-3%)
- Dichloromethane waste managed decreased by 475 million pounds (-14%), mostly driven by one plastic manufacturing facility reporting a decrease of 367 million pounds of dichloromethane recycling from 2018 to 2019. [Click to view facility details in the TRI P2 Search Tool]
- Quantities of TRI chemical waste managed increased for other chemicals including:
- Toluene increased by 95 million pounds (6%)
- Ethylene waste managed increased by 232 million pounds (15%)
Production-Related Waste Managed by Industry
This figure shows the industry sectors that managed the most TRI chemical waste from 2007 to 2019.
Note: For comparability, trend graphs include only those chemicals that were reportable to TRI for all years presented.
From 2007 to 2019:
- The percent contribution of each of the top sectors to production-related waste managed has remained relatively constant since 2007.
- Of the sectors shown in the graph, four increased their quantity of waste managed:
- Chemical manufacturing increased by 6.6 billion pounds (65%)
- Metal mining increased by 291 million pounds (23%)
- Food manufacturing increased by 456 million pounds (46%)
- Petroleum products manufacturing increased by 185 million pounds (16%)
- The quantity of waste generated in some industries fluctuates considerably from year to year, due to changes in production or other factors. For example, quantities of waste managed reported by metal mining facilities can change significantly based on differences in the composition of waste rock.
From 2018 to 2019:
- Industry sectors with the greatest reported changes in waste management quantities were:
- Chemical manufacturing decreased by 501 million pounds (-3%)
- Petroleum products manufacturing decreased by 260 million pounds (-11%)
- Metal mining decreased by 226 million pounds (-13%)
This page was published in January 2021 and uses the 2019 TRI National Analysis dataset made public in TRI Explorer in October 2020.