The HACH environment centre

Our products contain valuable raw materials that can be recycled. We provide a reagent disposal service to our recycling centre.

Environmental awareness has never been as high as it is today, with many companies reducing their waste levels through environmentally friendly production. We recognised the importance of sustainable trading a long time ago: we've been recycling used reagents from our customers since 1978.
Back then, our cuvette tests were processed externally. In 1988, we founded the disposal department in Düsseldorf. Our environment centre has been responsible for recycling ever since. We are constantly developing more and more new processes in our quest to improve our recycling rate.

Cuvette test materials can be used in all sorts of ways after recycling, for example as a raw material in the production of glass wool and plastic regranulate or to manufacture broom bristles. We accept around 350 metric tonnes of returned reagents and packaging materials every year and recycle approximately 75% of this. This comprehensive capability won us the German Sustainability Award in 2009.

More about the HACH LANGE Sustainability Award.

Our recycling system allows us to recover the following raw materials:

  • Paper
  • Glass
  • Plastic
  • Silver
  • Mercury
  • Sulphuric acid
  • Metals
  • Cabling
  • Precious metals

Goods receipt and sorting
We begin by checking the incoming deliveries to ensure they are complete and we weigh their contents. Our employees note the weight on the return form, which is then returned to the customer as an official record. We then sort the tests into their individual components for targeted processing. E.g., Plastic for broom bristles. Plastics recovered in our environment centre can be used in many different industries. For example, cuvettes are contained in clear blister packs.

These are separated from the glass cuvettes, checked for impurities, pressed into bales and then sent to a broom bristle manufacturer.

Turning cuvettes into glass wool
Glass is also a vital raw material. The glass from cuvettes is used to manufacture glass wool for insulation in the construction materials industry. To do this, we break up the cuvettes in our crushing facility and separate them from the caps, labels and liquid reagents. COD recycling through electrolysis.
The COD reagent is separated through a two-stage electrolysis in amalgam (silver and mercury) and heavy metal free sulphuric acid. The raw materials are recycled, thus protecting resources and the environment.

Limit value monitoring in the environment centre

All waste water is cleaned in our waste water treatment facility before being discharged into the sewer system. We use our very own analysis systems to make sure the limit values for the following parameters are observed:

  • pH
  • Sulphates
  • Heavy metals
  • Cyanide
  • AOX

We treat special waste water biologically in a biodisc facility, where we also monitor levels of phosphate, nitrogen and COD.