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Research and development

Research & development

Research and development

With a good dose of innovative spirit and our own R&D department, Saubermacher is committed to user-oriented research. Our innovations set out to create real added value for our customers and the environment. We work closely with universities, research institutions, customers and (industrial) partners in the search for pioneering technologies, procedures and processes, plus digitalisation and automation are helping us to develop new standards. Our aim is to inspire our customers with ecologically and economically sound solutions that help us achieve Zero Waste.

Saubermacher Anlage


Pioneering solutions

Our treatment and recycling processes for hazardous and non-hazardous waste undergo continuous development to help us boost efficiency and recover more and purer reusable materials for recycling. We research solutions for special waste for which recycling is still technically infeasible or economically inefficient. As an example, our high-tech recycling plant for lithium-ion batteries in Bremerhaven was established partly on the basis of procedures and technologies that we have developed ourselves.

Technikum Anlage


‘Technikum’ research facility

Since 2012, we have operated a 500 m2 research facility at our Puchstrasse site in Graz, a facility that is unique in Austria. The ‘Technikum’ as we call it, is capable of carrying out representative research on large quantities of waste streams and heterogeneous waste. Plus, working with universities and research partners in industry and commerce, Saubermacher is able to test and develop new recycling solutions.

Smart Waste Tonne

Smarter waste

Saubermacher sees digitalisation as a great opportunity. We research and develop and, with the aid of digital tools such as the ‘virtual disposer’, we are able to integrate waste management companies and customers and offer a high-quality disposal service including added services, all from a single source. Many of our pilot projects have already hit the market in their preliminary stages, including smart platforms, high-tech sensors in waste containers and reusable materials scanners, which send residents immediate feedback to their smartphones to help them understand their separation behaviour.

We firmly believe that sensor-supported new-generation sorting technologies, robotics and Industry 4.0 approaches will be at the forefront of future waste processing. Using these guiding principles, we aim to develop better solutions for our customers and partners and, in the spirit of Zero Waste, make materials cycles truly circular.


Hans Roth vor Ecoport

»Promoting young talent in the field of sustainable waste management is extremely important to me. I am always impressed by the commitment young researchers show to environmental protection and sustainability.«

Hans Roth
prize sponsor and Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Saubermacher

Promoting young talents

Hans Roth Environmental Award

The Hans Roth Environmental Award has been awarded for outstanding Bachelor’s and Master's theses for several years. The aim is to promote the exchange between science, business and technology for the benefit of environmental protection. The award is open to students at five universities in Austria as well as in Slovenia. The winners are determined by an independent jury.

An extract from our project portfolio:

Part of an EU-funded project – an international consortium succeeded in sorting non-ferrous metals from automobile shredders, sorted fully automatically by type.

The long-term, cooperative research project aims to retrieve far more from residual waste than ever before, at the same time developing an efficient waste treatment method for the future.

To reduce miss-sorting and to conserve resources, we use a multi-sensor, multi-spectral system to scan residual waste.

*The ‘Wastescan’ project is supported by funds from the European Regional Development Fund. Further information can be found at www.efre.gv.at.

This successful project shows how electric mobility can be more cost effective and more attractive to a wide user base.