Industrial Waste - General game info
Industrial Waste
2-4 players
AuthorJürgen Strohm
IllustratorFranz Vohwinkel
Published byHans im Glück
Rio Grande Games
Online since 2009-11-06
Developed byFranklin Lautert (flautert)
Boardgamegeek2476 owns a license for the online version of this game. A big "thank you" to the copyright owners (publisher and/or author and illustrator) who make it possible to have this game for free online here!
Industrial Waste - Rules


In the past, profit was the only measure of success for a company. Although profit is still the most important measure of company success, there are other important factors that companies must consider when measuring success. Companies must now look beyond the walls of their company to the world and realize their position in the world and the effect they have on it, especially how they handle the waste they produce as a by-product of their manufacturing process. Companies also must spend resources on technological innovations so the company can continue to be successful in the future.

In Industrial Waste, the players are the owners/managers of companies that are competing in this new world where profit, innovation, and environment must be balanced to be considered successful. The players must decide when and where to invest in innovation: rationalization, raw materials, and waste reduction. Innovation in rationalization allows a company to produce products with fewer co-workers, innovation in raw materials allows a company to produce products with less raw materials, and innovation in waste reduction allows a company to produce products with less waste. The first two allow a company to be more efficient. The latter allows a company to be more friendly to the environment. Government penalties make focusing on environmental concerns important to a company wishing to avoid those penalties.

Game Material

53 Action Cards

(also referred as Cards during the text)

Order Raw Material Growth Innovation Recycle
Action card Order Action card Raw Materials Action card Growth Action card Innovation Action card Recycle
9x 8x 8x 7x 7x
Advisor Hiring/Firing Trash Tourism Bribery Accident
Action card Advisor Action card Hiring/Firing Action card Trash Tourism Action card Bribery Action card Accident
4x 4x 3x 2x 1x

1 Game Board

Game board

4 Company Mats

(in all players use a single mat)

Player board


Place the game board in the middle of the table. Place the bank notes and the loan tokens next to the board as the bank: this is managed by the oldest player. Place the raw materials next to the board as a common supply. Shuffle the action cards and place them face down in a stack next to the board as the card supply.
Each player chooses a color and takes the following in that color:

4 cylinders Marker; he places 3 as markers in the first holes on the left side of the company mat. He places the fourth on the trash can to the left on the holes at the bottom of the company mat as a waste marker.

1 factory Factory, that he places in the upper left space on the game board as his factory marker.

Each player gets 15 Million € as initial capital from the bank.
Each player gets 5 raw materials from the common supply.


The players are owners/managers of their companies. In this role, they organize their co-workers, raw materials, waste and its disposal, and the growth of their companies. Of course, they do all this with their eyes on profits! The player who best manages his company will win the game!

Playing the game

The game is played over several rounds. The game ends when one or more factories reach any of the right-most spaces on the game board. In the following pages, the rules explain the loans, the game board, the company mats, the playing of a round, the game end, and the scoring.
Finally, the rules show two examples of the use of action cards and offer a few general tips.


A player may take a loan at any time, even when it is not his turn. For each loan a player takes, he takes 10 million in bank notes from the bank and places a “-10” loan token in his play area. A player may have as many loans as he wants. If all loan tokens have been taken, players keep track of additional loans with paper and pencil.

Game board

The board shows the growth and the number of co-workers for all companies.

Game board

The growth track runs from the left to the right and the co-worker track runs from the top to the bottom. During the game, players generally move their factories Factory to the right and down. However, sometimes a player must move his factory backwards to the left or towards the top of the board.

The growth track runs from left to right. The numbers in the track (14-20) have 2 meanings:

  1. The money that a player earns during the game for completing an order.
  2. The points that a player gets at the end of the game (a part of his victory points).

The co-worker track runs downwards from the top. The numbers in the track (5-1) have also 2 meanings:

  1. The number of co-workers in a company (times 100: 5 = 500).
  2. The money, that the player must pay the bank at the end of each round as basic costs for his company.

Note: point 2 is a simplification for the game. In a real company, the basic costs are based on more than just the number of co-workers in the company.

The company mat

The company mat holds additional data, beyond that on the game board, for each company. It is separated into two sections: building and waste disposal.

The building

The building is further subdivided into three parts:

Section for rationalization
Section for raw materials
Section for waste reduction

All 3 sections play a role when a player completes an order.

Section for rationalization

The number above the marker shows the minimum number of coworkers the company needs to complete one order (see also the description of the order action card below).

The number below the marker shows the number of points (these are part of his victory points) that the player gets at the end of the game for this level of rationalization. This works the same for all three sections.

Section for raw materials

The number above the marker shows how many raw materials a company needs to complete one order. In addition, the number shows how many raw materials a company may sell (see also the description of the raw materials action card below).

Section for waste reduction

The number above the marker show how much waste a company produces when completing one order.

As mentioned in preparation above, the markers for all 3 sections begin at 5. During the game, the players use innovation to improve these areas and move the markers to the right to mark these innovations (see also the description for the innovation action card below).

The waste disposal

Waste Disposal

Whenever a company completes an order, it produces waste. How much waste is produced is shown in the section for waste reduction. To mark this waste production, the player moves his waste marker counting upward through the number of holes in his waste disposal section equal to the amount produced by completing the order. He may later reduce the waste (see the description for the waste disposal and waste removal action cards below).

The waste disposal section has 3 areas: green (1-8), yellow (9-12), and red (13-16). The area where the marker stands is only important when the accident action card is drawn (see below).

Important: If a player has no more room for waste in his waste disposal section, he may not complete an order! Thus, if producing an order would require the player to move his waste marker beyond hole 16 in the waste disposal section, he may not complete the order.

Playing a round

A round has 5 phases, executed in the order shown below:

  1. Phase: lay out card combinations
  2. Phase: choose card combinations
  3. Phase: play the cards (takes the most part of the round)
  4. Phase: pay the basic costs
  5. Phase: change the starting player

1st phase: lay out card combinations

The dealer lays out a row of face up cards – one more card (column) than the number of players. Then he lays a 2nd row overlapping the first, and finally a 3rd row overlapping the second.

The dealer must not place a card in a column that matches a previous card in that column. When he draws such a card, he discards it immediately and draws another. This continues until he finds a different card for the column. Should he exhaust the card supply while dealing cards, he shuffles the discard stack face down and continues dealing cards.


Accident: if the dealer draws the accident card to lay in the combinations, he lays the card aside and the game is immediately interrupted (the accident card is not placed in a combination). All players must now check to see whether their waste markers are in: green, yellow, or red.

Green area: friend of the environment - nothing happens!

Yellow area: the player pays 5 million to the bank and moves his factory one space to the left.

Red area: the player pays 10 million to the bank and moves his factory two spaces to the left.

If a player does not have enough money to pay, he must immediately take a loan from the bank. If a factory cannot move one or two spaces because it is too far left, it moves to the far left.
Note: a player with the bribery action card can choose to protect himself from the effects of the accident (see below).

After the accident is resolved, the dealer continues laying out the card combinations until all three rows are complete. Now there are several 3-card combinations in front of the dealer. In fact there is exactly one more 3-card combination than there are players in the game. Also, each combination consists of three different action cards.

2nd phase: choose card combinations

Beginning with the starting player and moving clockwise around the table, each player chooses one of the 3-card combinations and places it face up in his play area. The last player will have only two combinations to choose from. Place the unchosen combination face up on the discard stack. Players turn over action cards saved from the previous round.

3rd phase: play the cards

The starting player chooses one of his cards, executes its action, and discards it face up in the discard stack. The, the player to the left does the same and so on around the table until each player has only one or no cards left . A player with exactly one card left may choose to pass his turn by turning the card face down (to show it is saved), thus saving the card for the next round (in the next round he will have 4 cards - the one he saved and the new 3-card combination he chooses). A player may not otherwise pass his turn. The card the player chooses to save must be his last. A player may choose to discard an action card as his turn rather than executing the action on the card.
Exception: the raw materials action must be executed or saved. It may not be discarded and not executed!

All action cards are described below

Raw materials
Raw materials: the player takes as many raw materials from the common supply as indicated by the marker in his raw materials section and sells them together. Beginning with his left neighbor, each player in turn, clockwise once around the table, may bid once or pass to buy the raw materials. The seller has the last bid. The highest bidder takes the raw materials and places them in his raw material storage. If the seller buys them, he pays the amount of his bid to the bank. If another player buys the raw materials, he pays the seller the amount of his bid.
Note: a player may not bid more than he has in cash, even if he does not expect to win the bid. If he does not have enough cash to bid the amount he wants, he may take one or more loans immediately and then place his bid.
Order: when a player executes the order action, first he produces goods and then, immediately, sells them. The goods are not represented by any marker in the game as they are immediately sold and the player is immediately paid for them.
The procedure: the player checks to see if he has sufficient co-workers and raw materials to complete an order. If he does, then he removes the exact number of raw materials needed from his storage and places them in the common supply. He receives money from the bank in the amount shown on the growth track by his factory on the game board. Finally, he moves his waste marker forward the number of holes corresponding to the amount of waste created by the production.
Example: the red player executes an order action immediately at the start of the game (all values are as shown in preparation).
1. He shows that he has enough co-workers: he has 5, as shown by his factory and the co-worker track on the game board, and he needs 5, as shown by his marker in the rationalization section on his company mat.
2. He shows that he has enough raw materials in his storage: he has 5 to start with and needs 5, as shown by his marker in the raw materials section on his company mat. He takes the 5 raw materials from his storage and puts them in the common supply.
3. He collects 14 million from the bank as shown by his factory and the growth track on the game board.
4. He also produces 5 waste, as shown by his marker on the waste reduction section of his company mat. He moves his waste maker 5 holes to the right to hole 5 to represent the waste produced.
5. Finally, he places the order card face up on the discard stack.
Growth: the player moves his factory exactly one space to the right on the game board.
Hiring/Firing: the player moves his factory on the game board exactly one space up or down.
Innovation: the player moves one of his three markers: rationalization, raw materials, or waste reduction one hole to the right. Each innovation costs 5 million, which the player pays to the bank.
Recycle: the player moves the waste marker on his waste disposal section 3 holes to the left, but no hole further than space 0.
Trash tourism
Trash tourism: the player moves the waste marker on his waste disposal section 1 hole to the left, but not past 0. All other players must move the markers on their waste disposal sections 1 hole to the right. This card may also be played when the player’s marker is on the trash bin (space 0). If an opponent’s marker is on space 16, it is not moved further to the right.
Bribery: this card may not be actively played. The card is used when an accident card is drawn and the player has his waste marker in the yellow or red area of his waste disposal section. By discarding the card and paying 1 million to the bank, a player can avoid moving his factory backwards on the game board as a result of an accident card. A player with this card need not use it in response to accident. If he does not, he suffers the normal consequences of the accident A player who plays bribery only avoids moving his factory. He still pays the 5 or 10 million penalty.
Advisor: the advisor has 2 abilities: loan payment and doubling or improving an action. The advisor card may not be played alone, but must be played with a loan token or another action card! A player who wants to repay a loan discards an advisor card, pays 10 million to the bank, and returns the loan token to the bank. Only in this way can a player repay a loan. For each advisor card, a player can repay one 10 million loan token. To double or improve an action, a player plays the advisor card together with another action card, placing them on the discard stack. The specific effect of the advisor card on other actions is described below:
  • Raw materials: the player sells twice as many raw materials as allowed by his marker. For example, if the number above the player’s marker is 4 he may use the advisor to double this to 8 and sell 8 raw materials.
  • Growth or hiring/firing: the player moves his factory 2 spaces to the right or 2 spaces up or down.
  • Innovation: the player may move 1 marker on his company mat 2 holes to the right or 2 markers 1 hole each to the right. He must, however pay for both innovations; a total of 10 million.
  • Recycle: the player may move his waste marker up to 6 holes backwards (to the left) but not past space 0.
  • Trash tourism: the player moves his waste marker 2 holes to the left and his opponents each move their waste markers 2 holes to the right, but not past space 0 or hole 16.
  • Order: the player gets 5 million more from the bank than he would have; he does not double the amount earned!
  • Bribery: cannot be played with the advisor card!

4th phase: pay the operating costs

All players pay their basic costs to the bank. The amount paid is shown on the game board by their factory and the co-worker track. If a player does not have enough money to pay the amount owed, he must immediately take a loan.

5th phase: change the starting player

The starting player gives the EURO to his left neighbor. This player will be the starting player for the next round. If the Accident card was drawn in this round, the dealer shuffles the Accident card, the card supply, and the discard stack together and places this stack face down as the new card supply. If the Accident card was not drawn in this round, the dealer makes no change to the card supply. In any case, the game continues with the new starting player with the 1st phase of the new round.

Game end

The game ends when the factory of one or more players reaches any right-most space on the game board. The players finish the current round and then the game ends! At the end of the game there is always an accident! That means that all players must check to see where their waste marker is. If it is in the yellow or red area, the player suffers the normal accident consequences for this: moving his factory 1 or 2 spaces to the left and paying 5 or 10 million to the bank. A player may, of course, use the bribery card here to reduce this effect.
Note: the game still ends even if the factory or factories that caused the end by reaching the right-most space are moved away from that space because of the required game end accident.


The players tally their points using the following:

  • growth track place of the factory on the game board
  • + state of innovation in the 3 areas: rationalization, raw materials, and waste reduction
  • + 50% of cash on hand (rounded down)
  • - sum of all loans held
  • = points

The player with the most points wins the game! If there is a tie for the most points, the player with the most money among those tied wins.

2 examples of the play of action cards

Example 1: Anna has, at the beginning of the game, 3 action cards: Order, Raw Materials, and Innovation. She first plays Raw Materials. She takes 5 raw materials from the common supply and offers them for auction. Her left neighbor offers 4 million, the next player passes, and the third offers 6 million. Anna decides she is willing to pay 7 million for the raw materials. So she bids 7 million, pays the 7 million to the bank, and places the 5 raw materials in her storage. Next, the other three players take their turns playing cards and it is now Anna's turn again. She next plays the Innovation card. She pays 5 million to the bank (each Innovation costs 5 million) and moves her marker in the raw materials section one hole to the right. The number above her marker is now 4. After the other three players take their turns, Anna, as her third action, plays Order. As she just improved her raw materials technology, she now only needs 4 raw materials to complete an order.

Example 2: Bob has, later in the game, 4 action cards: Advisor, Recycle, Growth, and Raw Materials. He decides to play the advisor card together with the Recycle card, as his waste marker is in the yellow area of his waste disposal section. He moves his marker 6 holes backwards into the green area. Then he plays Growth and moves his factory on the game board 1 space to the right. As he and his opponents have sufficient raw materials at this time, he decides to keep the Raw Materials card to play later (it is his last card). He turns it face down to indicate this.

General tips:

The most important thing is flexibility. You should begin the game with some strategy, for example, to keep your operating costs low. When you do not get the cards to support your strategy, you must look for a different strategy. There are many paths to victory!

Feel free to take a loan or two. Do not fear having your waste marker in the yellow area. Don’t take too many loans and avoid the red area, however. Why? You do not want to be forced to use an advisor to repay loans or rely on getting a card combination with Recycle/Trash Tourism just to move your waste disposal marker backwards. Try to keep your options open! The order of card play is not always critical, but be on the lookout for those times when it is. Cash is important during the game to give you options, but has only half value at the end. Try to spend your money during the game for innovations.

Tips on this implementation

  • It is possible to get help about the icons and cards by positioning the mouse cursor over them.
  • In order to play or take cards it is necessary to position the mouse over them and choose the corresponding option in the menu.
  • If a player has a Bribery card at game end pollution check, it is played automatically if it is beneficial to him.
  • All information is always public, including the discard stack (in order) and the cards in the draw deck.
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