"Our facility has actually been landfill free since October 2011," said Ron Camp, plant manager. "We've maintained 100 percent landfill diversion since then and are very excited to receive this prestigious sustainability award."
Ray Howard, general manager, Sonoco Recycling, said, "In 2011, we committed to taking 10 percent of our plants landfill free by 2015. The Chicago-Dupage facility is the next step towards achieving our goal, and we applaud them for their efforts."
While the Chicago plant had been recycling for many years, employees worked with Sonoco Sustainability Solutions (S3) to achieve landfill-free status. All plant waste streams were audited and evaluated for potential opportunities, using reduction, reuse, recycling and recovery to determine the best solution for diversion of all landfill waste. The facility created a team focused on reaching 100 percent landfill diversion while remaining cost neutral, or better than its existing cost of disposal.
Together with S3, the facility developed a thorough plant recycling program that includes all paper, corrugate, wood pallets, metal, stretch film, plastic banding, aluminum cans and plastic bottles; all other waste is sent to an alternative waste to energy (WTE) facility; and all material is compacted, sorted, shredded and baled.
Created to recognize customer and Sonoco facilities for achieving significant milestones in landfill diversion and waste stream reduction, the program is composed of three tiers:
Gold Star Awards, which recognize facilities that have achieved 99 percent landfill diversion;
Silver Star Recognition, which is awarded to facilities achieving 95 percent landfill diversion; and
Bronze Awards, which recognize facilities that have made significant waste reduction achievements.
A recycling leader with 50 locations and expertise worldwide, Sonoco Recycling annually collects approximately 3 million tons of old corrugated containers, various grades of paper, metals and plastics. In addition, the Company has experts who provide secure, reliable and innovative recycling solutions to residential and commercial customers.
Currently, Sonoco Recycling operates six material recovery facilities (MRFs) and serves nearly 150 communities in which curbside-collected residential and commercial materials are processed. The Company also provides recycling programs which identify waste reduction opportunities that reduce operating expenses for many of the largest consumer product companies in the U.S.