Half of GM plants to be landfill-free by end of 2010

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: energy management
General Motors announced September 5 a commitment to make half of its major global manufacturing operations landfill-free by the end of 2010. When translating the commitment to an individual facility basis, more than 80 of GM’s manufacturing operations will become landfill-free over the next 28 months. GM facilities achieve the landfill-free status when all production waste or garbage is recycled or reused.

As part of the initiative, the company announced 33 global operations have recently reached landfill-free status, bringing the company’s current total number of landfill-free manufacturing operations to 43.

“Through innovation and commitment, GM is accelerating our efforts to be a leader in finding solutions to the environmental issues facing our world,” said Gary Cowger, GM group vice president of global manufacturing and labor. “As we develop new solutions in vehicle propulsion, GM is also making significant progress in reducing the impact our worldwide facilities have on the environment.”

At GM’s landfill-free plants, over 96 percent of waste materials are recycled or reused and more than 3 percent is converted to energy at waste-to-energy facilities. Eliminating waste to this degree is a GM manufacturing priority.

Not only does this initiative help the environment, it helps the company’s bottom line. As a result of the company’s global recycling efforts, recycled metal scrap sales are approaching $1 billion in annual revenue. Additionally, in North America alone, GM will generate about $16 million in revenue from the sale of recycled cardboard, wood, oil, plastic and other recycled materials.

More than 3 million tons of waste materials will be recycled or reused from General Motors plants worldwide this year. An additional 50,000 tons will be converted to energy at waste-to-energy facilities. Some of the materials recycled at GM’s zero landfill sites this year include 630,000 tons of scrap metal, 8,000 tons of wood, 7,500 tons of cardboard and 1,200 tons of plastic. These numbers will increase as additional manufacturing facilities reach zero landfill status.

Waste elimination and recycling at GM’s landfill-free plants and other facilities will prevent 3.65 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions from entering the atmosphere this year. Additionally, recycling materials to make new products reduces energy use and manufacturing costs, compared to using raw materials.

GM’s 43 manufacturing operations that have reached land-fill free status are:

Kaiserlautern, Germany - Stamping
Kaiserlautern, Germany -Engine
Baltimore, Md., - Transmission
Gunsan, Korea - Assembly
Eisenach, Germany - Assembly
Bupyeong #1, Korea – Assembly
Bupyeong #2, Korea – Assembly
Bupyeong, Korea - Powertrain
Strasbourg, France - Powertrain
Gliwice, Poland - Stamping
Aspern, Austria - Powertrain
Bochum, Germany - Stamping
Ypsilanti, Mich., - Transmission
Russelsheim, Germany - Powertrain
Livonia, Mich., - Powertrain
Silao, Mexico - Engine
Silao, Mexico - Transmission
St. Catharines, Canada – Ontario St.
Szentgotthard, Hungary – Powertrain
Ramos Arizpe #1, Mexico – Assembly
Ramos Arizpe, Mexico – Engine
Ramos Arizpe, Mexico – Stamping

Flint, Mich., - Engine South
Tonawanda #1, N.Y., - Engine
Tonawanda #5, N.Y., - Engine
Gunsan, Korea - Powertrain
Flint, Mich., - Tool & Die
Bupyeong Korea - Tool & Die
Bupyeong, Korea -Stamping
Indianapolis, Ind., - Stamping
Gliwice, Poland - Assembly
Marion, Ind., - Stamping
Bochum, Germany - Assembly
Bochum, Germany - Powertrain
Fredricksburg, Va., - Powertrain
Warren, Mich., - Transmission
ilao, Mexico - Assembly
Silao, Mexico - Stamping
Wixom, Mich., - Powertrain
St. Catharines, Canada – Glendale
Gunsan, Korea – Stamping
Ramos Arizpe #2, Mexico – Assembly
Ramos Arizpe, Mexico – Transmisión

(note: facilities in bold are the 33 additional facilities announced as recently reaching landfill-free status)

Part of the challenge in reaching landfill-free status is finding uses for recyclable materials. At GM’s land-fill free plants, even the smallest piece of waste is put to a good use. Waste aluminum generated at GM facilities is sent to GM foundries to be reused to produce engine and transmission components. Steel, alloy metals, and paper are sent to recyclers to be made into a variety of products. Used oil is reconditioned for reuse in GM facilities. Wood pallets are reused, rebuilt or ground into landscape chips or sent to waste-to-energy facilities. Empty drums, totes and containers are refurbished and reused again and again. Cardboard is collected, compacted and sold for making new cardboard materials.

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