Creating A Zero Waste Business

Is it possible for a large factory to operate without those big, ugly trash dumpsters outside, overflowing with waste materials destined for the community landfill?

Haworth Inc., one of the largest manufacturing plants in western Michigan, is filled with employees from the boardroom to the factory floor who are believers in the concept of zero waste to landfill.

Inside the facility, strategically placed receptacles are on the factory floor, each with materials printed on the side such as rubber, steel, metal, drywall, plastic, and cardboard.

The plant recycled fifty three million pounds of thirty different types of material last year. In the case of waste recycling of drywall and cardboard, Haworth moved from paying for designated landfill space to earning revenue from their recycled materials. As a result the company saved over one million dollars last year. Officials say the success was a result of shifting focus from lean manufacturing to green manufacturing with an emphasis on creating zero waste.

The company credits senior management support and investment in the zero waste to landfill strategy as a contributing factor for success. Representatives of Haworth are now involved with education and training of other manufacturing firms who are interested in implementing the same strategies for their business.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Why pay thousands of dollars every month in landfill and waste disposal fees when its possible to move in the direction of zero waste through materials waste recycling? If Haworth did it, so can you!