GM Reaches Century Mark in Landfill-Free Facilities

Automaker recycled or reused 2.6 million metric tons at its plants worldwide in 2011

2012-06-19

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LANSING, Mich. – A single plastic bag of household garbage represents more trash going to a landfill than 100 General Motors facilities combined.

GM recently added its 100th landfill-free facility – a parts distribution center in Lansing, Mich. It is a milestone in the company’s ongoing waste-reduction efforts. No other automaker has as many facilities contributing zero waste to landfill.

GM first reduces waste and then focuses on recycling and reuse. In 2011, it recycled or reused 2.6 million metric tons at its facilities worldwide. That is equivalent to more than 38 million trash bags. Or, more than a month’s worth of trash for every resident in New York City. GM recycles more waste from its worldwide facilities than any other automaker.

“Our landfill-free program continues to strengthen our business by creating efficiencies, generating revenue and inspiring innovation with products made from recycled content,” said Mike Robinson, GM vice president of Sustainability and Global regulatory affairs.  “It’s a mission that’s integrated within our business processes. Everyone here plays a role in its success.”

GM began tracking its waste 15 years ago, and, armed with this insight, improves its recycling each year. All of its worldwide facilities combined – including landfill-free plants and all others – recycle or reuse more than 90 percent of the waste they generate.

“One of GM’s secrets to success is its cultivation of a strong network of suppliers committed to recycling materials and keeping them in use,” said Steve Hellem, executive director of Suppliers Partnership for the Environment, a forum for automakers, suppliers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “Their team regularly facilitates conversations, connects companies and even showcases creative recycling examples for others.”

In conjunction with its suppliers, GM recycles scrap cardboard from various plants into a sound absorber on the Buick Lacrosse and Verano interior roof. Air deflectors on the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks are made with used tires from the automaker’s proving ground. GM regularly shares its recycling best practices with companies of all sizes and industries.

In its first sustainability report as a new company, GM committed to achieve 25 more landfill-free sites and reduce total waste by another 10 percent by 2020. Since 1997, the company has reduced total waste by at least 43 percent.

In 2011, GM reduced total waste generated per vehicle by 5 percent at its global manufacturing facilities. Its recycling and reuse efforts last year avoided 10 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent emissions. GM’s landfill-free roster includes more than half of its global manufacturing facilities.

Independent sustainability agency Two Tomorrows audited GM’s landfill-free and recycling leadership. For more information on GM’s environmental commitment, visit its sustainability report and environmental blog.

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets.  GM’s brands include Chevrolet and Cadillac, as well as Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.

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Editor’s Note: GM will host a conference call for media with remarks from Mike Robinson at 1 p.m. EDT.  

  • Domestic: (877) 318-8197
  • International: (716) 247-6229
  • Conference ID # 90360302

A single plastic bag of household garbage represents more trash going to a landfill than 100 General Motors facilities combined. GM recently added its 100th landfill-free facility, a parts distribution center in Lansing, MIch.

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All of General Motors' worldwide facilities combined – including landfill-free plants and all others – recycle or reuse more than 90 percent of the waste they generate. GM recently added its 100th landfill-free facility, a parts distribution center in Lansing, MIch.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Michael Compher (l to r), Lansing Customer Care & Aftersales Plant Manager Bob Landis, and General Motors Vice President Sustainability and Global Regulatory Affairs Mike Robinson with the Lansing Customer Care & Aftersales facility Energy Star certification award for superior energy efficiency at the plant -- that is also GM's 100th landfill-free facility Tuesday, June 19, 2012 in Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors)

Eddie Mora moves a stack of pallets bound for recycling Tuesday, June 19, 2012, at the General Motors Lansing Customer Care and Aftersales facility in Lansing, Michigan. The distribution center is GM's 100th landfill-free facility - a milestone in the company’s ongoing waste-reduction efforts. No other automaker has as many facilities contributing zero waste to landfill. The facility has also earned Energy Star certification for superior energy efficiency from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors)

Pallets and cardboard are set for recycling at the General Motors Lansing Customer Care and Aftersales facility Tuesday, June 19, 2012 in Lansing, Michigan. The distribution center is GM's 100th landfill-free facility - a milestone in the company’s ongoing waste-reduction efforts. No other automaker has as many facilities contributing zero waste to landfill. The facility has also earned Energy Star certification for superior energy efficiency from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors)

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