GM Plants in Mexico Offer a Concrete Example of Creative Recycling

GM Plants in Mexico Offer a Concrete Example of Creative Recycling

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Monday, April 7, 2014 - 2:25pm


Nearly everything can be recycled. But there are instances where traditional recycling alternatives are very limited. This is especially true with materials containing a mixture of components that aren’t easily separated.

As a last alternative, there are options where those materials can be turned to energy through incineration.

Such is the case at our San Luis Potosi Complex in Mexico. We make use of our landfill-free expertise toward solutions to address some of the non-recyclable waste produced at the facility.

The result: teaming up with CEMEX, a global building materials company, who now uses the byproducts in their cement-making process. Essentially, the waste material feeds the ovens that provide the energy to create cement. CEMEX’s power generator plant also uses it to create energy to power part of the plant’s operations, cutting consumption of non-renewable resources.

The practice is called co-processing. Waste materials are used as a source of alternative energy to replace fossil fuels like coal, petroleum and gas in energy-intensive industries like cement and power generation. It’s a sustainable development concept that helps cut CO2 emissions and the need to landfill.  Because of the ovens’ powerful filtration system, solid waste can be used to fuel them and maintain a 2,000 degree Celsius temperature.

Gustavo Cespedes, director of our San Luis Potosi complex, says the collaboration helps us achieve greater efficiency in managing and conserving resources.

“San Luis Potosi takes many steps to strengthen itself, both by contributing to GM’s bottom line and reducing our impact on the environment,” he said.

This resourceful collaboration is what helps keep San Louis Potosi’s stamping, transmission and assembly plants landfill-free, meaning all of their daily waste is reused, recycled or converted to energy. GM operates 110 landfill-free operations across the globe.

CATEGORY: Environment