GM's waste won't be headed to a landfill

Sixty-two General Motors manufacturing plants have achieved "zero landfill" status by recycling or reusing all normal plant wastes, meaning 43 percent of its global manufacturing facilities no longer send any production waste to landfills.

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Even the smallest bits of waste in GM's manufacturing plants are recycled or reused. Here, tiny aluminum shavings from machining operations are collected and reused at GM foundries to make new transmission parts. General Motors

After spending the last two years working to convert half of its major manufacturing facilities "landfill-free," General Motors today announced the company is on the right track.

Sixty-two of GM's manufacturing plants worldwide have achieved "zero landfill" status by recycling or reusing all normal plant wastes; this means 43 percent of its global manufacturing facilities no longer send any production waste to landfills.

More than 2 million tons of waste materials will be recycled or reused at GM plants worldwide in 2010. And an additional 45,000 tons will be converted to energy at waste-to-energy facilities, the company said in a press release.

Some of the materials recycled at GM's zero landfill sites this year will include 650,000 tons of scrap metal, 16,600 tons of wood, 21,600 tons of cardboard, and 3,600 tons of plastic.

Waste aluminum generated at GM facilities is sent to the company's foundries to be reused to produce engine and transmission components. Steel, alloy metals, and paper, for example, are sent to recyclers for reconstitution into a variety of products. Used oil is reconditioned for reuse in GM facilities. Wood pallets are reused, rebuilt, ground into landscape chips or sent to waste-to-energy facilities. Empty drums and totes are refurbished for reuse. And cardboard is collected, compacted and sold for the production of new cardboard materials.

"We've been working for quite some time at eliminating waste and developing support systems to recycle or reuse wastes we can't yet eliminate," said Mike Robinson, GM vice president of Environment, Energy and Safety policy. "These plants have taken this process to its highest level. They are leading General Motors and the worldwide manufacturing industry."

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