At General Motors, being landfill-free has become a pride point for employees, and our non-manufacturing facilities are beginning to ask how they can eliminate the shipment of plant waste to landfills, since they see the importance of being environmentally conscious.
To date, 10 non-manufacturing facilities have reached this goal. Here are a couple of examples of how they have reduced waste:
• Created packaging that can be easily recycled and developed technical specifications that can be followed on a global basis.
• Separated cardboard boxes attached to wood pallets with shear-plate technology; this allowed one facility to earn $20,000 a month from recycling its cardboard.
Additionally, a site that’s pursuing landfill-free status is using a bio-based packaging foam made from extruded cornstarch that’s both biodegradable and compostable.
These 10 non-manufacturing sites are in addition to GM’s 76 landfill-free manufacturing facilities. In 2010, all of GM’s worldwide facilities combined – including regular and landfill-free plants – recycled 92 percent of the waste they generated.
Overall, GM’s engineers and suppliers are committed to finding ways to decrease challenging waste streams, eliminate scrap, and design for the environment.