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Where do decommissioned materials go?

10 / 01 / 2018
Where do decommissioned materials go?

Dismantlement and resource management is a key part of the decommissioning process.

A common assumption is that everything will need to be disposed of during decommissioning. This is not always the case. There are three main options when dismantling:


In some cases, a platform or topsides can be re-used: either as a production facility or in an alternative way.


Where items cannot be reused, their components can often be recycled. This is one of the most common approaches to waste.


Some materials can’t be reused or recycled. These will need to be disposed of in landfill.

There are several factors that affect the onward destination of materials once they leave the dismantling yard.

  1. Dismantling yards have different capabilities. Some can provide comprehensive cleaning, sorting and segregation of a range of materials. In such cases the wastes can be sized and sent directly to a repressor for recycling.
  2. A dismantling site’s capabilities may also be limited, so wastes would have to be sent onwards to a contractor who can complete the task of cutting, cleaning and making them ready for recycling.
  3. Waste services in the local area may be limited or unavailable and result in materials being sent elsewhere to be managed if local storage is not available. They may also not be licensed to receive certain materials such as those requiring decontamination.
  4. The materials' price in different areas also has an impact on where materials are sent. Materials such as steel may be sent for smelting in different countries if it is economically beneficial. This will depend on market values and transport costs.

Next Steps

Learn more about the different stages and options around Dismantlement and Resource Management through the online decommissioning courses.

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