(left to right) Ryan Pennington, Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp.; Bill Harris, Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp.; Glen Jones, Burt’s Bees;
Matt Green, Heritage Interactive Services; Wendell Hughes, Honda of South Carolina Mfg. Inc.; and Tom Carpenter, Waste Management,
shared their zero-landfill success stories with attendees at the Zero-Waste-to-Landfill Challenge at the Research Triangle Park, N.C., on Dec.
7. The event was sponsored by the Green Manufacturer Network.
way, you’re handling it only one time.”
Pennington and Harris helped em-
ployees quickly identify which recycla-
ble material should be deposited where
by color-coding the collection contain-
ers and posting a simple color chart.
“Color-coding reduced our landfill waste
by 40 percent,” Pennington reported.
Hughes said his team regularly conducts an audit of the recycling contain-ers to see if they have been contaminat-
Thomas Built Buses
Energizer Battery Co.
Greif Inc .
JL Clark Inc.
Johnson & Johnson
ed with other materials, such as food
waste with paper, he said. A report with
a score goes to upper management.
He added that the team also tracks
the ratio of waste recycled to that sent
to incineration for waste-to-energy processes. Currently 88 percent is recycled and 12 percent goes to waste-to-energy outlets, he said.
Honda recycles a multitude of materials, including bulk polystyrene, compact plastic drums, and copper weld
tips (see Figure 4). The manufacturer
uses a horizontal baler for steel scrap.
Many components are shipped to and
from suppliers and customers on reusable crates (see Figure 5).
“We do a lot of plastic recycling,”
Hughes said. After it is sorted by plastic type, which is stamped on the container bottoms, the plastic is shredded
on-site. Hughes said that part of his
team’s assessment was looking at the
overall impact of recycling to make sure
it was not a financial burden.
Subaru enlisted the services of Heritage Interactive Services to help with
its monumental task of achieving zero
landfill. Matt Green, senior program
manager for Heritage, said he places
an emphasis on how to generate cost
savings by eliminating waste. He said
some of the best sources for ideas on
how to do that and collect data were
from production employees. “We asked
them for ideas. They gave us 5,000
suggestions in the first month.”
Green emphasized the importance
of semantics when discussing waste
management with employees. “Trash is
one of the new seven dirty words,” he
said. “Stop calling it trash or garbage.
Come up with something else. If you
don’t call it trash, maybe they’ll think of
“If something is not a product, it’s
byproduct,” Burt’s Bees’ Jones said.
3. Sort, Label, Flake, Chop, Melt
to Maximize Value. Although single-stream recycling is common, sorting increases the value of the waste, Waste
Management’s Carpenter said. “You
don’t have to pay to separate it twice.”
In addition, manufacturers can increase the value of some materials by
processing them on-site. For example,
if plastic is flaked, its per-pound value
“Managing plastics Nos. 1 and 2 is
GM has 78 landfill-free facilities and now
has achieved landfill-free in an assembly
plant in Fort Wayne, Ind. (pictured).