General Motors on Tuesday said its Allen County truck assembly plant is the company’s first “landfill-free” assembly plant in the United States. That means the factory now recycles, reuses or converts all waste to energy.
One large obstacle to overcome was the paint shop, which went through a process and material change so wastewater can now be recycled.
Fort Wayne recently received zero-landfill designation, joining 78 other GM landfill-free manufacturing facilities around the world.
Nine GM operations that supply Fort Wayne with stampings, engines, transmissions and components are also landfill-free.
The effort to wean the plant from landfills has taken years, and it’s part of a broader effort at sustainability the factory (and GM in general) spotlighted Tuesday in announcing the no-landfill status of the truck plant.
“Assembly plants are challenged with a large amount of waste streams and byproducts, from varying types of plastics and metals to expendable packaging and containers,” said John Bradburn, GM manager of waste-reduction efforts.
“Fort Wayne has succeeded in finding sustainable options for these materials while working with other GM plants and suppliers to improve its impact from an overall systems perspective.”
The Detroit-based automaker builds Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks at the plant, which employs about 3,350.