found out with FCCC is that zero waste
to landfill is cost-neutral.”
New Landfill/Waste Facility. The
broader issue of landfills and solid
waste handling came front and center
in 2008, just prior to the moratorium
on new landfills, when a waste management company petitioned to locate a
waste processing center in Cherokee
County. Although the proposed center
was to include recycling, a methane
gas-to-energy system, and no hazardous waste, it would also include a 75-
to 350-acre landfill. Some of the waste
could come from northern-border state
An uproar arose in the community.
Lawn signs popped up: “No Landfill”;
those anxious for the economic benefits staked “Landfill, Yes.” “It split the
community in half,” said Bill Harris, environmental/facilities engineering supervisor at FCCC.
For Harris and other FCCC employees,
it became personal (see Figure 1). The
idea that their hometown could become
the dumping ground for waste from another state crossed the T and dotted the
i in their commitment to a zero-waste-to-landfill program. By not needing to
deposit any waste in any landfill, the
manufacturer would no longer be part
of the landfill waste stream, Harris said.
“We here at FCCC took ourselves out of
the conversation,” Harris added.
FCCC’s first steps included evaluating its
waste stream to analyze what it was composed of and what its sources were.
Nielsen asked Sandra Carter, DTNA’s
environmental engineering manager, to
identify an affiliate company that would
be willing and able to be the pilot program for other DTNA companies. Already
recycling about 70 percent, Freightliner Custom Chassis was a natural for
selection as the pilot.
The pilot program approach offered
DTNA the opportunity to evaluate potential setbacks and test solutions prior
to implementation at other locations.
“Waste to landfill is the measurement
for making the right decisions regarding
processes and disposal alternatives.
We do not want to be zero waste to landfill at further expense to other natural
resources. The alternative solutions for
our waste have to make complete ecological sense,” Carter said.
“Sandra walked in one day and said,
‘Hey, we have an idea; we’d like you to
try something,’” Harbin said.
“We challenged these guys,” Nielsen
said. “If we go landfill-free, it might cost
us a little to do this, but it also makes
sense because in the future, we won’t
have to face the problems.”
Harbin responded positively. “Did I
have any clue how to do it at that point?
FCCC’s recycling program is so robust, the
county recycling center parked a rollaway
sorting and collection center on-site that
employees call “Recycling City.”
EPA’s 10 Steps to
1. Work with Waste Wise.
2. Form a team.
3. Perform a waste assessment.
4. Set a baseline and set goals.
5. Launch and implement your
6. Educate employees.
7. Track and measure progress.
8. Report accomplishments.
9. Promote success and maintain
10. Analyze progress and reevaluate programs.
No. Absolutely not,” Harbin said. “For-
tunately, we have two guys here who
are full of energy, enthusiasm, and pas-
sion, and they just took over.”
The “two guys” are Harris and Ryan
support tech. “This is something we
wanted to do—not just because corpo-
rate told us to, but because it’s the right
thing to do for the organization and our
community. Ryan and I took personal
ownership of it,” Harris said.
“Bob is very talented at empowering
people to let them do what they need to
do to get their jobs done,” Carter said.
Rated Impact. “The way the ISO 14001
system works, you rank all of your environmental impacts,” Carter said. “You
identify the frequency, cost, quantity,
the regulatory and environmental impact, and your stakeholders’ concerns
and you rank them according to the criteria to establish your priority.
“And here, because the landfill is going to close, and of course regulations
have been increasing, stakeholder concern for waste management is high. And
that’s how we chose the zero-waste-to-landfill initiative,” Carter said.