GM has committed to make half of its major global manufacturing operations landfill-free by the end of 2010. Meeting that goal will require more than 80 of GM’s operations to 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.
At GM’s landfill-free plants, more than 96% of waste materials are recycled or reused and about 3% is converted to energy at waste-to-energy facilities.
As a result of the company’s global recycling efforts, approximately $1 billion in revenue will be generated annually from recycled metal scrap sales. Additionally, in North America alone, GM will generate about $16 million in revenue from the sale of recycled cardboard, metal, wood, oil, plastic and other recycled materials.
More than 3 million tons of waste materials will be recycled or reused at 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.
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, according to the company. Additionally, recycling materials to make new products reduces energy use and manufacturing costs, compared to using raw materials.