Back to Environmental Stewardship

Waste Management

Operating with environmental stewardship in mind begins with reducing the impact of our energy-producing processes and carries forward into the responsible management of any waste produced as a result of those processes. Our waste management policy guides our ongoing approach to reduce the amount of waste we generate and to dispose of waste safely.

Ameren’s primary waste products, known as coal combustion residuals (CCRs), are the result of burning coal at our Missouri energy centers.We are in the process of closing all of our legacy ash basins, which store wastewater and CCRs on our property.

We also are increasing our CCR recycling efforts, giving waste a second life in construction products. In fact, it’s likely that the roads you drive and the sidewalks you walk on every day contain recycled CCRs.

Waste Management At-a-Glance

Increasing CCR recycling to up to 85% of future production compared to the current 63%

More than 14.5 million tons of CCRs used in the production of cement and concrete since 2001

Diverted more than 500,000 tons of material from landfills through recycling, education and awareness since 2015

Waste Management Policy

We responsibly manage the wastes that are produced through our operations. Our approach includes implementing measures to avoid waste generation, recycling and reusing materials, and properly disposing of wastes that cannot be recycled.


CCR Waste Management

While Ameren Missouri has demonstrated that our CCR waste management and disposal activities do not pose an adverse risk to public health and the environment, we are still approaching the closure of the ash basins with great care. We engaged experts to assist us in thoroughly exploring the best way to close the ash basins and limit impacts on nearby communities. As a result of extensive analysis, we are closing the basins by installing a cover system that exceeds regulatory requirements. The ash is covered by a liner, then a layer of compacted clay and soil. In some cases, we will plant native grasses and vegetation over the area. Safe, responsible closure using this method is the most efficient path to achieve the groundwater protection standards set under federal rule.

We are making rapid progress on safely closing ash basins at three of our four energy centers, well ahead of regulatory requirements, and expect to complete all the closures by 2023. Even after the basins are closed, we will continue to monitor groundwater in the area.

Ameren Missouri also is working to increase CCR recycling efforts. Coal ash can be used to replace other materials in wallboard, cement and concrete, roofing, and bricks, reducing the reliance on other natural resources for these products. Currently, 63% our CCRs are being recycled, and we are increasing these efforts so up to 85% of CCR production can be put to beneficial use.

The retirement of our coal-fired energy centers will dramatically reduce the amount of waste generated by our operations in the future. Read more about Ameren’s CCR waste management.


Other Waste Management Programs

Ameren Missouri has installed sufficient spent fuel storage capacity for spent fuel at the nuclear-powered Callaway Energy Center until 2044. This capacity includes wet pool storage within the energy center, as well as the dry cask storage system built next to the energy center. This level of storage capacity will be sufficient for the licensed life of the energy center. Read more about Ameren’s waste management efforts in our annual sustainability report.

Ameren and many other utility companies received approval from the US EPA to dispose of certain remediation wastes generated at secure utility assets with as-found PCB concentrations less than 50 ppm in non-TSCA approval landfill facilities, including municipal solid waste landfills.

Full Approval Document

Alert Info