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In September, we began our effort to become a Zero Landfill company, and we’re happy to report that our Jackson Road facility sent its final load of trash to the landfill on September 29, 2009. Prior to that time we were already recycling 98.4% of the material we discarded, and we were sending a load of trash from our compactor to the landfill a little less frequently than once a month.

In beginning our Zero Landfill project our first step was to place new sorting areas for recycling plastics, metals and glass in 4 locations within our plant. For the most part, these sorting areas were near our lunchrooms, where much of our trash was being generated. We promoted our Zero Landfill effort through articles in our internal newsletter and through postings on our bulletin boards. But, even before that information was published, the sorting areas were already getting lots of attention and the boxes were filling up quickly.

Our Zero Landfill efforts are being coordinated by our Machine Maintenance Manager, Charlie Montgomery. As the weeks went by in October and November, Charlie kept a close eye on what was ending up in the trash compactor. Where he could identify the source of recyclable material that wound up in the trash, Charlie took steps to place other recycling containers near those sources. For instance, he found some plastic strapping that was originating in our Bindery, so he placed clearly labeled bins for that type of plastic in spots where it is easy for our Bindery staff to discard this material for recycling.

Pounds of Trash per DayThe results of these initial efforts were that it took us about three months, instead of the usual one month, to fill up our compactor. As measured in terms of pounds of trash generated per day, our additional recycling efforts yielded a 60% reduction in waste going into our compactor. This brought our recycling rate up to about 99.3% of the material we discard. But, the story doesn’t end there.

When our compactor was finally filled up on December 28th, Charlie had the load taken to our recycling company, Nelson Recycling, instead of to the landfill. Nelson was able to recycle some additional material taken from the compactor. The material they were not able to recover was taken to the Detroit Municipal Incinerator, where it was used as fuel for power generation, and from now on, this is where all the material will go that we can’t recycle.

In a display of his dedication to this project, Charlie followed the trash container to Nelson and analyzed its contents when it was emptied out. Based on what he saw, Charlie made plans to achieve a greater level of sorting and recycling within the plant over the coming months. The steps Charlie is following to achieve this are as follows:

  • He’ll conduct additional training and communication within the plant to show people what is going into the trash that should get recycled, along with how and where to recycle it.
  • Charlie has put labels bearing photos on the new recycling containers to make it easier for people to figure out what type of plastic goes in each bin.
  • He has placed more recycling containers in some additional areas.
  • Charlie hopes it will take 6 months or more before the compactor fills up again. When that happens, he will visit Nelson once more to see what is in it and what additional steps should be implemented to achieve further improvement.

Charlie believes we could ultimately achieve up to an additional 80% reduction in our trash, which would bring our recycling level to 99.9% and get us down to just one compactor load going to the incinerator each year. We’ll keep you up to date. This is the kind of “Trash Talking” we like.


Committed to the Environment

At Edwards Brothers Malloy, we are committed environmental stewards. Protecting the environment and investing in renewable resources are among our highest priorities. We currently maintain chain of custody certifications with the Forest Stewardship Council©, the SUSTAINABLE FORESTRY INITIATIVE©, and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification... Learn more

Malloy Achieves Zero Landfill Status