General Motors Reaches For Zero-Waste

The Midwest United States might be cold and covered in snow this winter, but two General Motors distribution facilities are no longer covering regional landfills with material waste any more.

GM distribution facilities in Chicago, Illinois and Hudson, Wisconsin have recently reached their environmental sustainability goals of attaining a status of being landfill-free, meaning that all waste generated daily is recycled, reused or used for energy conversion.

The two facilities are used primarily for customer service and help to facilitate the delivery of GM parts to car dealerships throughout the country. The two locations are responsible for processing thousands of shipments annually, so it was essential to develop a strategy to recycle and re-use the cardboard shipping materials and wood pallet waste that accumulated on a daily basis.

The Chicago facility estimated that it process over twenty five tons of waste cardboard every year – that total weight is slightly more than twenty automobiles! The financial cost of disposing of that much waste in a landfill is also significant so the switch to recycling not only reduces disposal fees but also earns GM’s recycling partners one hundred dollars for each ton of cardboard.

The local recycling partners are responsible for the recyclables, but employees at all levels of the organization are responsible for achieving waste reduction success. GM’s goal is to have all of its one hundred and twenty five facilities be landfill-free by 2020.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, it pays to have a strategic plan in place when it comes to recycling. Chart you progress one month at a time and develop your ideas as you go along. In no time you’ll be saving green while “going green”!