GM continues to make the environment a priority
General Motors just named its 103rd landfill-free facility – the Components Holdings Lockport Plant – which achieved its landfill-free status by recycling or reusing all plant daily waste. The plant even recycles energy that would otherwise have been wasted, converting it into a useable resource.
The landfill-free designation of this facility is just one accomplishment of GM’s unrelenting efforts in sustainability, something the company takes very seriously. No other automaker has as many landfill-free facilities or recycles/reuses as much waste. “Lockport’s recycling efforts, community commitment and dedication to reducing environmental impact is a great example of GM’s drive to design and build vehicles in a sustainable way,” said John Bradburn, GM manager of waste-reduction efforts. “We continue to gain and share expertise as we add more sites to our landfill-free list.”
Recycling is a large part of this process. More than six-million pounds of aluminum, the main material used in vehicle heat exchangers, was recycled by the plant last year, and recycling of other byproducts, like cardboards, metals and plastics, has already generated revenues of almost $3.7 million this year.
GM has been able to hit these great numbers by devising new solutions to roadblocks that would prevent large-scale recycling from being achievable. Teaming up with a recycling partner was one way the plant achieved this, working together to develop a technique for extracting and recycling specific metal byproducts that are formed when the heat exchangers are put together.
Making recycling as easy as possible was another objective to ensure the success of the plant’s efforts. “Landfill-free became a reality because of our dedicated team,” said Patrick Curtis, plant manager, GM Components Holdings Lockport. “With their feedback, we determined the best places for recycling containers so that we can easily separate our waste. Our goal is to make recycling convenient so it doesn’t disrupt their routine.”
GM’s goals extend far past recycling and its employees actively participate in making their communities better places. In one example, the GM news website states, “Employees volunteer with a statewide Erie Canal cleanup activity and it hosts an electronics recycling day with the county’s refuse district where residents and small business can safely recycle their old computers, mobile phones and other electronics.”
These achievements have put GM on a great path towards helping the environment, and the company certainly isn’t done with its efforts. “We’re never done improving; achieving this milestone should instill even more excitement,” Curtis said.