Three Shaw Industries plants are now “zero waste to landfill,” the company said. The facilities include two Tuftex carpet manufacturing plants in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., and a Shaw fiber extrusion facility in Clemson, S.C. Each facility achieved zero landfill status by redirecting waste otherwise intended for landfills through alternative channels of recycling and reuse.

According to Tuftex Risk/Environmental Manager Bill Woyshner, achieving zero landfill status for the California-based Shaw Tuftex plants aims to support both a regional zero landfill initiative and Shaw’s own corporate waste reduction goals.

With the largest local landfill in the Puente Hills, Calif. area of Los Angeles slated for closure in 2013, Shaw is helping the City of Santa Fe Springs meet their waste diversion goals by implementing the zero waste to landfill initiative, Woyshner said. “As a result, we recognized a clear opportunity to demonstrate that zero landfill facilities are not only achievable – they can contribute to the sustainability of an entire community – in this case, our own.”

“Because the facilities were already operating at a very high level of efficiency, each plant was already sorting and recycling every possible type of waste on site and through local partners like New Green Day, RJM and Serv-Wel Disposal,” explained Tuftex Carpet Director Jim Cusick. “The final step was finding a method of recycling or reuse for the break-room waste generated each month.”

That break-room waste is now being sent as an alternative fuel source to produce electric power, Cusick stated.

According to Anita Jimenez, recycling coordinator for the city of Santa Fe Springs, Shaw’s efforts demonstrate the kind of community impact sustainability initiatives like zero landfill can have. “Shaw's leadership in the diversion and reutilization of remaining waste streams goes a long way towards supporting the City of Santa Fe Springs’ own landfill diversion goals. Shaw’s partnership with Serv-Wel Disposal to divert all of their waste, including breakroom trash, from the landfill serves as a model of environmental stewardship for other companies and industries working towards Zero Landfill,” Jimenez said.

“Shaw is a great example of the benefits generated when organizations working together to set new standards for environmental responsibility also have a real community impact,” she added.

Additionally, Shaw’s Clemson, S.C. extrusion plant has partnered with Phillips Recoveries to achieve zero landfill status. “Phillips changes the solid state of our industrial compacted trash to the consistency of garden mulch by shredding and then grinding it,” said Gene Rowell, Plant 8T environmental health and safety manager. “Phillips Recoveries customers then use this material as a means of liquid absorption for the treatment of non-hazardous waste.”

Like its counterparts on the West Coast, the Clemson plant also recycles waste paper, cardboard, plastic, and metal, with local firms. “The material we recycle through Phillips Recoveries is less than one-fifth of what the plant recycles locally and on-site,” according to Rowell. “We are very proud to be one of the first three Shaw facilities to reach the zero landfill goal.”

Achieving “zero waste to landfill” at three Shaw facilities is a significant step towards Shaw’s long-term waste reduction goals, according to the company’s VP Sustainability Rick Ramirez. “Our corporate goal is to reduce our organization’s overall waste to landfill by 90 percent by year-end 2011, with the ultimate goal of achieving zero waste to landfill for our entire organization,” Ramirez said. “These three facilities are setting a standard for all other parts of our own organization as well as for other manufacturers looking for models of successful and aggressive waste reduction.”

“The initiative taken by all the Shaw associates at each of these facilities also demonstrates the personal dedication to sustainability shared throughout the organization,” Ramirez added. “Their clear commitment to finding smart, progressive ways of eliminating the concept of waste from their manufacturing processes is exactly what Shaw’s commitment to sustainability through innovation – the Shaw Green Edge – is about.”