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IAC Greenville S.C. Plant Receives State Recognition For Reducing Landfill
GREENVILLE, S.C. (April 27, 2012) – The employees of the International Automotive Components’ (IAC) Greenville, S.C. plant this week hosted a group of state officials from the South Carolina Department of Environmental Health and Control (DHEC) to present IAC Greenville with the "2012 Outstanding Waste Reduction & Recycling Program Award." IAC was among four recipients of the award and the only automotive company in the state to receive it.
IAC received the award because of its recycling efforts and continued results in reducing landfill through recycling. Also, the state cited IAC Greenville’s involvement of all its employees in the effort, reflecting a strong, internally integrated program.
IAC Greenville has set up a waste reduction and recycling program that has generated substantial savings from the use of recycled materials in manufacturing, including savings of $125,000 in avoided disposal costs in FY11. Before the program was implemented, the facility, which has a zero production-generated waste goal, disposed of more than 450 tons of material per month. That amount of material disposed has been reduced to less than 20 tons per month.
Leveraging its vast engineering experience, IAC developed a recycling database in 2010 that was used company-wide to track material re-use and landfill waste. Based on the data gathered, IAC initially challenged its manufacturing facilities to reduce their landfill significantly. By the first quarter of 2011, IAC plants had reduced the amount of landfill by 36 million pounds on an annual basis. Three company plants, including IAC Greenville, have achieved zero landfill from manufacturing, and the others have reduced their landfill by 50 to 80 percent.
The IAC Greenville recycling program was born from a company Kaizen event – a Continuous Improvement (CI) program used to define improved methods and tools for increasing efficiency and productivity. In addition to internal initiatives, the Greenville plant partnered with a local community organization, the Greater Greenville Sanitation Commission (GGSC). A plant-wide roll out event was held in partnership with GGSC to kick off the recycling program in October 2010. This program continued to grow with new ideas and efforts until the waste streams were down to the goal of no-production waste heading to landfill and the culture of recycling was adopted by the employees working at IAC Greenville.
IAC recycles material not only from their production line (e.g., cardboard, carpet trim, pallets, plastic wrap and banding), but also material generated from employees (e.g., cans, bottles and office paper). The facility regularly looks for additional ways to reduce waste including conducting periodic waste audits to identify missed recycling opportunities. They also hold annual environmental training to reinforce IAC’s commitment to zero waste in addition to quarterly newsletters and bi-monthly corporate conference calls to report their actions and results. The facility’s overall waste reduction and recycling efforts are even promoted to visitors – who receive a summary of the overall program on the back of their visitor badge.
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