GM adds 11 landfill-free sites, near goal of 125

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

General Motors Co. said Thursday it has converted 11 more facilities into landfill-free sites, bringing its total to 122 facilities globally that don’t send waste from operations to landfills. The sites either have to recycle all waste, reuse it or convert it to energy.

Three of the new facilities are in Michigan: Grand Rapids Operations, Burton Warehouse and Distribution Center and the GM Heritage Center. Other locations added include its CAMI Assembly plant in Canada, Colmotores Assembly in Colombia, Joinville Engine in Brazil, Zaragoza Assembly in Spain, Zaragoza Stamping in Spain, its Shanghai headquarters in China, Luton Warehouse in England and the Fontana Warehouse and Distribution Center in California.

GM wants to have 125 landfill-free sites by 2020; it began the effort in 2005. The sites include manufacturing and nonmanufacturing sites in Asia, Europe and North America and South America. The new 11 sites going landfill-free help the automaker avoid more than 600,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.

“Our ultimate goal is not to generate any waste at all,” John Bradburn, GM global manager of waste reduction, said in a statement. “Until then, we do everything we can to ensure it doesn’t end up in the ground. From connecting our suppliers on special recycling projects to reusing packaging, we apply lessons learned across all of our operations to broaden the positive impact.”

The green effort also can save GM money. For example, at the Grand Rapids facility, GM’s in-house oil recycling saves the company $1.2 million annually.

Last year, GM’s Renaissance Center headquarters became landfill-free, which the company then said was difficult because of the number of employees who work in the building, plus multiple other business operations including several restaurants that it had to get on board.

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