Eaton was recognized at its clutch manufacturing plant in Auburn, Indiana, for achieving “zero waste-to-landfill” by nearly eliminating all wastes sent to landfills through recycling, re-use, new work processes and other means.
Eaton is encouraging its manufacturing sites to achieve zero waste-to-landfill status as part of its waste management program and also as a means to reduce the release of greenhouse gases (GHG) associated with landfills, especially methane, a GHG 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide. In 2014, Eaton reduced its landfill waste by about 7 percent, or 1,500 metric tons, as part of a global zero waste-to-landfill program. This eliminated 2,500 metric tons of CO2 that otherwise would have been released during the transportation and storage of landfill waste in 2014. Together, more than 60 Eaton sites around the world have achieved the goal of sending zero waste to the landfill.
“Waste reduction is environmentally responsible and the right thing to do for our Auburn facility and our community,” said Ralph Beam, plant manager. “Doing what’s best for the environment is part of our culture of doing business right.”
The 252 employees working at the facility manufacture clutch assemblies for the North America Class 7 and Class 8 markets.
Eaton defines “zero waste-to-landfill” as consistently achieving a landfill waste diversion rate of 98 percent through either reuse, composting, recycling or incineration – but only if the heat generated by incineration is collected and used in order to create more energy than was required for the incineration process. Eaton zero-waste sites undergo an intensive audit process that includes verifying that at least 98 percent of a site’s waste is diverted consistently for three months.
The Auburn facility’s waste reduction program began in 2014. A plan was developed that called for landfill materials such as metal scrap, cardboard, pallets, plastic, general office trash and other wastes to be recycled, reused, converted to energy or eliminated from work processes. According to the company, employee training also was another major component of the plan.
“With help from Eaton’s corporate environment, health and safety staff, our Auburn facility was able to integrate new work processes and awareness training into existing Eaton business processes,” said Mike Teusch, environmental health and safety facility manager. “With Eaton’s focus on doing business right, it didn’t take long for a culture of sustainability to develop among our employees.”
“Projects such as zero waste-to-landfill help deliver the environmental performance that reflects Eaton’s commitment to be a leader in sustainable business practices,” said Harold Jones, Eaton’s senior vice president for environment, health and safety. “And, we are striving to get better. Eaton has pledged to reduce GHG emissions by 25 percent, indexed to sales, by the end of 2015. It all starts with our employees generating the ideas and enthusiasm to help Eaton do business right.”