Sometimes when big traditional companies announce good news about ways they’re going to reduce waste, the question arises of shouldn’t they have done this earlier? That’s what I wonder with General Motor Corp. announcement today that within a year and a half, 50% of their facilities will be recycling virtually all of their waste.
GM says by the end of 2010, half of its major global manufacturing operations will be land-fill free. The facilities plan to achieve that landfill-free status when all production waste or garbage is recycled or reused. So far, the company says 33 of its operations recently reached that status for a total of 43.
At the landfill-free plants, more than 96% of waste materials are recycled or reused and 3% of that is converted to energy at waste-to-energy plants.
Doing good will help the company’s bottom line. In a statement, GM says as a result of its global recycling efforts, recycled metal scraps are approaching $1 billion in annual revenue. In North America alone, selling off its recycled cardboard, wood, oil, plastic and other materials added $16 million in revenue.
This on top of playing around with solar, getting rid of truck and SUV plants, and investing in ethanol technologies among many other eco-friendly moves, shows that GM has sustainability in mind, at least when it comes to sustaining their business, which works just fine for us.
GM has about 160 manufacturing facilities worldwide, including joint ventures. It plans to make 80 of them landfill-free.