Greif’s facility in Lavonia, Georgia was recently recognized for its high level of achievement in reducing solid waste in 2018. Lavonia, which manufactures IBCs and plastic drums, received an “Achievement in Waste Reduction” award from AbsorbTech, an industrial laundry service.
AbsorbTech is a partner with Heritage Interactive, a premier supplier of customized waste and recycling programs that has helped 16 Greif facilities in North America minimize waste production by identifying and implementing alternative solutions for absorbent materials.
As part of the waste reduction program with Heritage, reusable absorbent materials replaced disposable options at Greif facilities. Rags replaced paper towels, reusable mop heads were introduced and the facilities are now using absorbent mats. The new materials are washed and returned by AbsorbTech to be reused in the facilities, eliminating much of the single-use waste material.
The Lavonia facility’s participation in the program led to a waste savings of 1,042 pounds of industrial wiping towels, 4,024 pounds of waste oil absorbents and 171 pounds of mop heads.
Greif’s partnership with Heritage began nearly a decade ago within its RIPS facilities in North America. Greif has seen an estimated $200,000 in cost savings by utilizing reusable materials and has diverted an estimated 767 tons of waste from the landfill.
“This is one of those marginal gain projects that assists in the achievement of significant goals in the long run. While it’s fantastic that we have 16 plants running this program so far, it’s clearly one we need to bring to more of our locations,” said Geoff Westphal, Greif EHS manager.
The waste reduction program with Heritage is one of many steps the company is taking towards reaching its sustainability goals. One of the goals includes diverting 90 percent of waste from the landfills by 2025.
Greif is currently examining its facilities in other regions of the world to see where similar waste reduction programs could be implemented.