Eleven more General Motors’ facilities have achieved landfill-free status. The company’s running total is 122 manufacturing and non-manufacturing operations spanning Asia, Europe and South and North America that recycle, reuse or convert to energy all waste from daily operations.
GM’s new landfill-free facilities include:
- CAMI Assembly (Canada)
- Colmotores Assembly (Colombia)
- Joinville Engine (Brazil)
- Zaragoza Assembly (Spain)
- Zaragoza Stamping (Spain)
- Grand Rapids Operations (Michigan)
- Burton Warehouse and Distribution Center (Michigan)
- GM Heritage Center (Michigan)
- Shanghai Headquarters (China)
- Luton Warehouse (England)
- Fontana Warehouse and Distribution Center (California)
The addition of these 11 facilities to landfill-free status helps GM avoid more than 600,000 metric tons of CO2-equivalent emissions.
GM says employee awareness is key in the drive to landfill-free. Colmotores Assembly in Colombia launched awareness campaigns that engaged employees in reducing waste and sorting it correctly. GM’s Shanghai headquarters, a LEED-Gold facility, formed a “Green Team” spanning IT, finance, facilities, R&D and supply chain departments to identify recycling and waste reduction opportunities.
All of these facilities treat their waste as resources out of place and employ a number of methods to give them a second or third life.
- Reduce: Zaragoza Assembly changed its manufacturing process to reduce solvent consumption from its paint shop; it now reuses 80 percent of it. Packaging continues to be a large waste stream for many plants and CAMI Assembly is tackling it by setting aggressive targets to reduce non-reusable packaging.
- Reuse: Grand Rapids Operations’ in-house oil recycling saves GM $1.2 million per year. It recycles and reuses every gallon of oil it buys from a refinery several times.
- Recycle: CAMI Assembly turns scrap wood into mulch for its wetlands and Grand Rapids Operations recycles grinding wheels as sandpaper. The Grand Rapids site also works with a partner that processes wastewater treatment sludge into a fuel source for the building materials industry.
- Compost: Zaragoza composts wastewater treatment sludge to create fertilizer and Joinville Engine composts its organic cafeteria waste to provide additional nutrients for the site’s trees and plants.
The company has also published a downloadable blueprint, The Business Case for Zero Waste, intended to help businesses of all sizes and industries reduce waste and create efficiencies.