ABB was disposing of plastic housings that were not being recycled because a buyer for PC/ABS plastic had not been identified. ABB found a customer that chipped, melted and pelletized the material for sale and reuse. ABB also used this customer to recycle plastic pallets.
The company set a goal of using 100% recycled content in its castings and meter casings, because of the rising economic and environmental cost of copper. To reach this goal, they changed suppliers of raw material, redesigned their meters so that less raw material was needed, and established a closed loop recycling system.
By running tests on their wholesale packages Berres Brothers was able to determine the minimum amount of packaging needed. They cut 3,000-4,000 feet of unnecessary film per month, which was both financially and environmentally beneficial as it greatly reduced the amount of film heading to landfills.
By purchasing a trim scrap baler, Federal Foam Technologies reduced the processing and handling costs of trim scrap as well as the number of trips needed to haul waste. The costs of purchasing and installing the trim scrap baller were recovered in nine months.
Frito Lay (FL) has long been working to reduce waste sent to landfill, and has established a goal of reaching zero landfill (ZLF) status (defined as sending less than 1% of manufacturing waste to landfill) in all of its manufacturing facilities. The program was founded on three pillars: 1) to reduce/eliminate the use of non-reusable and non-recyclable materials in FL plants; 2) to reduce waste to landfill from FL operations to zero; and 3) to transform waste disposal costs into material revenues. While the program has obvious environmental benefits, the FL ZLF initiative also focused on decreasing waste expense and increasing recycling revenue. (more)
Kimberly-Clark (K-C) is a manufacturer of disposable essentials, products that are often used on a daily basis. As a responsible steward of the environment, K-C continues to look for ways to minimize any impact its products or operations have on the environment. While disposable diapers account for less than 3% of landfill waste, there is a desire to reduce this even further. Faced with this issue, K-C partnered with the University of Wisconsin to investigate options for diaper disposal.
Case study of Green Tier participant Kimberly-Clark Experimental Mill’s path to sending zero waste to landfills. They found recyclers for all their waste streams at no cost premium over landfilling, helped meet a corporate goal, and ensured confidential disposal of their research products.
Kraft Foods is committed to reducing and improving its packaging. While there are many advantages to flexible film packaging: it is lightweight, right-sized to the product, and transports well – there are not many recycling facilities which recycle flexible, multi-layer film. Consumers often tell Kraft that post consumer packaging waste is a problem that needs attention. As a result, Kraft partnered with TerraCycle–a unique “upcycling” company that helps prevent post-consumer and post-industrial packaging waste from ending up in landfills. TerraCycle packaging waste is turned into high-quality merchandise like backpacks, tote bags, yoga bags, umbrellas and kites. (more)
Public and private parties came together to use natural gas from the La Crosse County Landfill to produce heat and electricity. There were financial and environmental gains that arose from this partnership. The energy independence of Gundersen’s Onalaska campus is discussed.
Case study on WI Green Masters company Lauterbach Group’s waste materials recycling efforts. Working with Channeld Resources Group and other partners, Lauterbach Group has continually found ways to reduce the amount of waste materials it sends to landfill.
In an effort to continuously reduce packaging and energy usage and improve waste reduction in operations, Nestle focused on efficiencies, shed costs and ensured continuous improvements in recyclable packaging and the diversion of packaging from landfill. They used five strategies: 1) Use 100% recyclable packaging materials for every product produced, whether the bottle, the wrap or the tray; 2) Reduce packaging material use by working with suppliers on design changes that maintain functionality 3) Challenge internal teams to improve on waste reduction and internal recycling levels; 4) Increase recycling of products by working with government and industry on recycling; and 5) Earn environmental certification from the world’s leading standards associations to confirm energy reduction achievements.(more)
Wal-Mart has a core sustainability goal to create zero waste, defined as achieving more than 95% waste diversion. Determining which waste streams stores can divert from the landfill is part of this goal. Another part is reducing and diverting as much as possible from Wal-Mart’s home office operations. Wal-Mart set out to create a zero-waste home office environment – and fast! To do so, it implemented a two-fold strategy. First, it diverted as many waste-streams as possible from itshome office, and second, it reduced the amount of non-recyclable materials coming into its building. (more)
TOSCA LTD., located in Green Bay, has been in operation since 1958 when the company began reconditioning 55-gallon cheese barrels. Since then, TOSCA has engineered proprietary technologies to make its 640 bulk cheese containers the industry standard. The company also extended its container solutions to beer keg repair operations, as well as specialized reusable containers for meat, poultry, and fresh produce.
Tosca, Ltd. manages and services pools of returnable containers for the dairy, produce, meat, and brewing industries. During the reconditioning process of the cheese containers, Tosca strips and repaints them. They need the paint to last long enough to do the job, including preventing rust during shipping and storage, but they also need the paint to be able to come off easily. The company looked to reformulate the paint so as to minimize the environmental impacts.
A large portion of Tosca’s business involves servicing “640” cheese containers – so named because they are used for producing and storing 640 pound blocks of cheese. Tosca owns and leases out over 380,000 of these containers and provides reconditioning services for another 150,000 that are owned by customers. Until 2009, Tosca’s customers used steel corner iron brackets and steel banding to hold the containers together and prevent damage during cheese manufacturing, storage, and shipping. However, these metal pieces took up considerable weight and volume, presenting difficulties in optimizing shipping efficiencies. Corner irons added almost 4,000 lbs. to each truckload of 640s shipped from Tosca to their customers, causing truckloads to exceed weight restrictions before reaching cube capacity.