Eighth GM Manufacturing Plant Achieves Zero Landfill Waste
The plant, scheduled to build the first two-mode hybrid transmissions for GM’s full-size SUVs and pickups, has operated with zero landfill waste since May.
About 97 percent of the waste materials, or 7,300 tons, will be recycled or reused, with the remaining 3 percent being converted to energy at a waste-to-energy facility. In 2006, the plant recycled, reused or converted 99 percent of tis waste.
“Our Baltimore facility is a great example of how GM is working to reduce the impact of both our operations and our vehicles on the environment,” said John R. Buttermore, GM Powertrain vice president of global manufacturing, in a statement.
“Many manufacturing plants generate waste along with their products but here at our Baltimore plant, fuel-efficient transmissions for our vehicles are our only output. All wastes generated here are recycled or reused in some way. We are very proud of the environmentally responsible work that has been done working jointly with the leadership of UAW Local 239 and our Baltimore employees that made this possible,” he said.
The two-mode hybrid transmissions are expected to boost fuel efficiency in its SUVs and pickups by up to 25 percent over conventional gasoline Powertrain systems. They will debut in the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon, both of which will be available later this year.
Recycled materials and items included about 510 tons of aluminum, 600 tons of steel, 10 tons of alloy metals, 360 tons of wood pallets, 3 tons of paper, 20 tons of empty totes and drums, 250 tons of used oil, 220 tons of waste water residual and 5,400 tons of returnable packaging.
Company foundries recycled the aluminum to produce engine and transmission components while the steel, alloy metals and paper are sent to off-site recyclers for reconstitution into other products.
Used oil gets reconditioned into a manufacturing fuel additive while the Baltimore area fire departments and energy recovery efforts utilized the used wood pallets.
The plant becomes the company’s eighth plant to reach zero landfill waste status, Buttermore said. The other locations are: Tonawanda, NY; Flint and Wixom, Mich.; Gunsan and Bupyeong, Korea; and Kaiserslautern and Eisenach, Germany.