Waste Management

GRI 103-1, 103-2, 103-3, 306-2

Going beyond than just complying with environmental legislation and conditions of operation licenses, MRS believes that the waste management process is an opportunity to apply circular economy concepts, focusing on the reduction of waste sent to landfills.

MRS maintains a robust Waste Management Program that is strictly adhered to throughout the company. In 2020, 100% of the waste, generated in units of MRS, was properly managed and there was no fine, tax assessment or the like, evidencing the maturity of the process, which is fully controlled by indicators in the Environmental Management System (EMS).

All waste generated undergoes a thorough analysis to ascertain the possibility of reuse, either by the Company or by third parties. In 2020, MRS generated around 2,397 tons of waste from its maintenance activities. Of these total, 19.3% were sent for recycling/reuse by third parties, 41.8% were destined for co-processing/treatment and 38.9% were destined for landfills. Highlight for the 461 tons of waste destined for reuse/recycling, representing a 19.5% growth versus 2019.

MRS maintenance and administrative activities naturally generate solid waste classified as class I and class II.  MRS invests annually in the hiring and maintenance of specialized companies for the correct management of waste in all its units. The activities of these suppliers include:

  • Availability of workforce to work in the service fronts, training and raising awareness among MRS employees not to generate and/or to reduce the waste production, increase primary reuse opportunities, as well as segregating and correctly packing the waste generated; periodic inspections in the areas with a focus on monitoring and controlling the entire generating process and assessing management opportunities;
  • Constant acting in the market to find opportunities for reuse and recycling, which is increasingly constant in the types of waste generated;
  • Renting collectors that will provide the correct storage of the waste produced, in compliance with the legislation;
  • Storing the waste generated in approximately 35 waste plants and shelters;
  • Offering a fleet of over 15 trucks for different pickups throughout more than 45 cities, sometimes simultaneously;
  • Providing MRS with destination solutions ranging from sanitary landfills to licensed receiving units for reuse and recycling of waste.  It is important to note that 100% of the segregated paper, cardboard and plastic waste was recycled in 2020, many through associations of collectors and recyclers, promoting these activities in the states of MG, RJ and SP.

All suppliers in the chain go through a rigid approval process, with auditing of the processes and emphasis on environmental licensing and compliance with other legal requirements. This process is held before the start of activities and periodically during the term of the agreement, in order to maintain the quality of the services provided and to make suppliers aware of the importance of enforcing legal compliance. Learn more in Suppliers.

Annually, MRS invests in the maintenance and expansion of physical structures to properly store the waste produced, with emphasis on the waste plants/shelters. For the coming years, MRS plans the continuity of correct management of 100% of the waste produced, increasing the volume of recycled or reused waste, ensuring sustainability to the company’s process.

Destination of waste

In addition to the waste already mentioned, MRS generates, in its maintenance activities, several very bulky inputs that are valued in the market. Due to this, the Company plays a strong role in sending 0% of these materials to landfills, continuously promoting their reuse, whether in its own operations or by third parties. In 2020, the main materials that fit this circular economy concept were:

1,670m³ of railway ties reused by MRS and 12,500m³ sold for reuse by third parties;

30 thousand tons of scrap metal, including rails and other metallic residues, sold for reuse by third parties;

310 thousand liters of used lubricating oil sold for re-refining.

Also in 2020, several projects were implemented or continued aiming at the reduction, recycling and reuse of waste, reducing the volume sent to landfills, with emphasis on:

Recycling of weilding residue + slag in Minas Gerais, totaling over 40 tons of annual waste that no longer goes to landfills;

Recycling/reuse of 100% of the wood generated in the maintenance processes, which in addition to railway ties also includes pallets and other wood-based residues, amounting to about 280 tons in 2020 that were not sent to landfills;

Destination for recycling of 100% of the recyclable waste (paper, cardboard, plastic), much of it to collectors’ associations;

4,500 packages arising from the environmental sanitation activity went through the reverse logistics process.

Dry Cleaning of railway wheels, reducing the generation of industrial effluents and sludge from treatment plants.


GRI 306
GRI 306-4, 306-5
Disposition and destination (tons)201820192020
Co-processing - class I592,5632,71641,4
Co-processing - class II1098,69475,01304
Recycling - class I0,3900.6
Recycling - class II38,6385,49461,6
Reuse - class I000
Reuse - class II309,6700
Landfill - class I6,3249.60
Landfill - class II171,33838,1932,54
Physical-chemical treatment9,7278,5856,4
Physical-chemical treatment - class I9,7278,5856,4
Physical-chemical treatment - class II000
Incineration - class I00,020,09
Incineration - class II000
Decontamination - class I1,2300
Decontamination - class II000

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