GM’s Landfill-Free Plant Count Rises to 78

Rosario, Argentina assembly and stamping facilities latest additions
Nov 2, 2011 5:15 PM ET
Campaign: GM Waste Reduction

(3BL Media / theCSRfeed) November 2, 2011 - DETROIT – General Motors has added two plants in Rosario, Argentina to its roster of manufacturing facilities that send no waste to landfills. The assembly and stamping plants in the South American country bring GM’s landfill-free plant total to 78.   The plants accomplished the designation through a variety of recycling and reuse activities, such as:
  • Materials vitrification: Superheating various solid waste streams to form a solid, nonhazardous substance used in construction materials. 

  • Solvent recycling: Capturing solvents used between paint color changes and reformulating them into a paint that is cured and hardened with a UV light and applied to plant floors.

  • Onsite composting: Separating cafeteria food waste and other wood waste generated onsite into containers where they break down to form nutrient-rich organic humus. The composting dirt is used as natural fertilizer in gardens at the site.

  • Biodigestive wastewater treatment system: Cleaning wastewater using cafeteria scraps as a food source for the environmentally friendly bacteria versus chemicals, breaking down various materials in the wastewater.

  • Pallet recycling: Cutting pallets and reworking them by gluing and joining the lengths together to form large wood beams for the homebuilding industry. Excess wood generates heat for crate sanitation.

  “Our team made great strides once they began seeing waste as reusable material,” said Norberto Tinazzo, environmental engineer at GM’s Rosario plants. “Like all GM plants, we thrive on strong data. We understand what waste is being generated and work together to find ways to responsibly manage these streams.”   GM’s powertrain facility in Rosario was declared landfill free in 2010.   “We’re able to share knowledge among all of our global facilities to identify the best of the best in innovative recycling,” said John Bradburn, manager of waste-reduction efforts at GM. “Many significant initiatives – like the vitrification and solvent recycling – are coming from Rosario. They’re setting industrywide benchmarks.”   On average, more than 97 percent of waste materials from GM’s zero-landfill manufacturing plants are recycled or reused. The remaining 3 percent is converted to energy at waste-to-energy facilities, replacing fossil fuels.   Last year, GM surpassed a global operations commitment  to make half of its 145 plants landfill-free. Its new goal is to add 10 more by the end of 2011. Recently, the efforts have spread to non-manufacturing sites; 10 of which are now landfill free.   In 2010, all of GM’s worldwide facilities combined – including landfill-free plants – recycled 92 percent of the waste they generated.   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   # # #   CONTACT: Sharon Basel Energy & Environnent Communications 313-378-6647