General Motors’ Components Holdings Lockport plant is the automaker’s 103rd facility to achieve landfill-free status, reusing, recycling or converting to energy all waste from its daily operations.
The site, which makes heating and air conditioning components and radiators for a variety of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac vehicles, last year recycled more than 6 million pounds of aluminum – the primary material in vehicle heat exchangers. Recycling various byproducts such as metals, pallets, cardboard and plastic helped the site generate nearly $3.7 million in revenue so far this year.
“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.
“We’re never done improving; achieving this milestone should instill even more excitement,” Curtis said.
Lockport overcame a challenge on the path to landfill-free by collaborating with a recycling partner. Together they identified a way to extract and recycle various metals from residue resulting from bonding the components that make up a heat exchanger.
“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.”
Lockport’s environmental activities extend beyond its walls. 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.
GM recycles and reuses more waste from its manufacturing facilities than any other automaker, and no other automaker has as many sites contributing zero waste to landfill. Its landfill-free progress helped it earn recognition as a Detroit Free Press Green Leader and Waste & Recycling News Green Corporate Citizen. GM is the only automaker inducted into the U.S. EPA’s WasteWise Hall of Fame.
GM recently published a downloadable blueprint, “The Business Case for Zero Waste”, intended to help companies of all sizes and industries reduce waste and create efficiencies. For more information on GM’s environmental commitment, visit its sustainability report and environmental blog.