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GM expands landfill-free efforts in Asia

General Motors’ Rayong engine plant in Thailand and Cheongna proving ground in Korea are now landfill-free, bringing the company’s total to 33 sites throughout Asia that recycle, reuse or convert to energy all of their daily waste. GM’s landfill-free facility count in Asia compares to 45 in North America and 22 in Europe. GM has a goal of 125 landfill-free facilities worldwide by 2020.

70% of waste at GM manufacturing plants in Asia is packaging materials such as wood and cardboard. GM’s plant in Rayong, Thailand, as well as its plant in Talegaon, India, swapped wood pallets for reusable, recycled-content plastic containers that weigh and cost less. The two facilities reduced wood pallet waste by a combined 146 tons last year, success that now has GM’s North American operations researching the use of these plastic containers in their operations.

Waste collection and separation systems also lead to improvements. For example, employees at GM’s Changwon operations in Korea adopted new recycling containers and signage that helped eliminate 35 tons of mixed waste.

Waste-reduction best practices range from high-tech processes to minimize sludge from wastewater treatment, painting or grinding, to locally sourcing and sanitizing gloves for reuse. The latter reduced waste at the Talegaon plant 10 tons in one year alone.

The Cheongna proving ground in Incheon, Korea is recycling materials required for vehicle development and research, including batteries, plastic, chassis components, packaging and chemicals.

GM’s landfill-free manufacturing footprint spans assembly, powertrain, casting and stamping plants, and includes non-manufacturing facilities such as office buildings, warehouses and distribution centers. About half of GM’s operations in Asia are landfill-free, including 17 in Korea, 10 in China, four in Thailand and two in India. GM’s worldwide total is 106.

Comments

HarveyD

An excellent example of what can be done to protect the environment.

If GM can do it, so could 100,001+ others.

HarveyD

This may be good news for 50% (and rising) of Americans and Canadians who will be stricken with a cancer in their life time.

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