General Motors has been quietly greening its manufacturing facilities, powering plants with landfill gas and bringing 76 of them (over half of its 145 plants) to landfill-free status in the last few years. Now the company is moving on to non-manufacturing facilities, with 10 now reusing, recycling, or converting to energy all of their waste instead of shipping it to landfills. “Our non-manufacturing facilities see the importance of being waste-reduction leaders, and they know their customers value it as well,” said John Bradburn, manager of GM’s waste-reduction efforts. “Being landfill-free has become a point of pride for our people and we hope even more facilities achieve the goal this year.”
A Customer Care and Aftersales facility in Flint, Michigan, that is pursuing landfill-free status is using bio-based eco-foam made from extruded corn starch to pack sheet metal. A landfill-free CCA center in Burton, Michigan, features a patented technology to shear and separate cardboard attached to wood pallets so that both can be recycled. The machine not only allowed the Burton facility to achieve landfill-free status this year; it also generates $20,000 a month from recycled cardboard. GM’s goal is to convert another 10 facilities to landfill-free status by the end of this year. According to GM, all of the company’s worldwide facilities combined, including regular and landfill-free plants, recycled 92 percent of the waste they generated last year. Now that’s a far cry from the reckless General we knew a few years ago. We’re looking forward to seeing General Motors continue to go green.