DETROIT – A single plastic bag of household garbage represents more trash going to a landfill than 100 General Motors facilities combined.
GM will officially name its 100th landfill-free facility Tuesday at the GM Lansing Customer Care and Aftersales office at 4400 W. Mount Hope Road, Lansing.
It is a milestone in the company’s ongoing waste-reduction efforts. No other automaker has as many landfill-free locations or recycles as much waste annually.
GM began tracking its waste 15 years ago, and, armed with this insight, improves its recycling each year. All of its worldwide facilities combined — including landfill-free plants and all others — recycle or reuse more than 90 percent of the waste they generate. The landfill-free program strengthens GM’s business by creating efficiencies, generating revenue and inspiring innovation. GM first reduces waste and then focuses on recycling and reuse. In 2011, it recycled or reused 2.6 million metric tons at its plants worldwide — the equivalent of more than 38 million large garbage bags.
GM even turns waste from its manufacturing operations into new-vehicle components and plant supplies. In conjunction with its suppliers, GM recycles scrap cardboard from various plants into a sound absorber on the Buick Lacrosse and Verano interior roof. Air deflectors on the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks are made with used tires from the automaker’s proving ground. GM regularly shares its recycling best practices with companies of all sizes and industries.
GM facilities also employed waste-reduction tactics such as reworking pallets to form wood beams for the homebuilding industry and reusing absorbent padsfor cleaning oil and water. At its Customer Care and Aftersales headquarters in Grand Blanc, the grounds — a wildlife habitat certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council — feature scrap Chevrolet Volt battery covers GM engineers converted into duck nesting boxes.
In its first sustainability report as a new company, GM committed to achieve 25 more landfill-free sites and reduce total waste 10 percent by 2020.