10 Honda Factories Are Now "Zero Waste"


Photo credit: Rennett Stowe via Flickr/CC BY

Put simply, it's just really dumb that we're sending streams of waste to the landfill in 2011. Smart companies -- and some smart governments -- have figured out that it's much better to reuse that stuff, or prevent the waste from building up in the first place. Hence, nations like Denmark send only 3% of their junk to landfills. And companies like Honda have made their factories essentially 'Zero waste' -- 10 out of the Japanese automaker's facilities have now achieved that status. Each car the company produced used to generate an accompanying 63 pounds of trash. Now, each one yields just 1.8 pounds, and it comes from a source you wouldn't expect ...

Here's how they did it: Autoblog Green reports:

Back in 2001, Honda Manufacturing of Alabama became the first zero-waste-to-landfill automotive facility in all of North America and the company has kept up the pace since then ...

Combined, Honda's 14 North American facilities send less than one-half of one percent of all operating waste to landfills. The two remaining landfill waste streams are paper, plastic and food waste from break rooms and cafeterias at Honda's Mexico automobile and motorcycle factories, where there are no environmentally responsible means of disposal; and a byproduct of the paint pretreatment process for aluminum body panels at Honda's East Liberty and Marysville, OH sites. This byproduct, in accordance with EPA regulations, has been deemed non-recyclable.



Image: Honda

As industrial production continues to ramp up to supply goods to the booming BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) and eventually the rest of the world, taming the waste streams to maximize use of resources will be all-important.

Honda, working in a resource-intensive industry, has shown that such efficiency is possible.

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