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Caterpillar sites achieve zero waste to landfill

Two UK sites belonging to Caterpillar achieved zero waste to landfill during 2010, the equipment manufacturer has said.

The sites which have reached 100 per cent recycling are the remanufacturing & components division’s United Kingdom Hose Assembly (UKHA) plant in Leicester, and the Cat Logistics operation in Desford.

"Caterpillar recognises that providing sustainable solutions starts with having sustainable operations. That's why we've established corporate long-term goals focused on sustainability for all of our operations worldwide," said Doug Oberhelman, the company’s chairman and CEO. "One of those operational goals is to eliminate waste by reducing waste generation and reusing or recycling all that remains."

The Cat Logistics Desford facility provides a wide range of logistics services to many different customers and distributes materials world-wide, and generates tons of waste each year. In 2008, a project team set the goal of zero landfill and 100 per cent of waste recycled. New processes were implemented in March 2009 and by October 2010 the site was able to record one full year of 100 per cent recycling.

The site’s services manager, Paul Morris, said that the new processes included increasing the segregation of waste from six different streams to more than 30, which increased recycling opportunities. In addition, many of the waste streams are now baled or bundled. This has reduced transportation costs, with the best example being cardboard which is now shipped at 22 tons per vehicle, instead of merely two tons before.

Morris added that instead of collecting office waste in a single bin, the introduction of smaller desktop bins has encouraged everyone to generate less waste, and segregated collection points have ensured all material is recycled. Better knowledge of the recycling industry has also helped increase recycling and prepare waste to ensure it can be recycled and the best price obtained, he said. He noted that the site achieved cost savings of over £116,000 in the first year following implementation of the new processes.

Caterpillar said that the UKHA facility achieved zero landfill increasing its recycling rate. In particular, a total waste management system was developed to maximise revenues generated from recyclables and to start recycling waste rubber hydraulic hoses, and the site’s environmental metrics reporting procedure was simplified and streamlined, helping it achieve savings of almost £10,000.

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