General Shale Brick has created a recycling program for the paper, wood pallets, plastic and steel used at its plants. Although the plant in Roanoke has been recycling already, the practice will now become company-wide. Here is a press release from General Shale:
ROANOKE, Va. — General Shale Brick, the North American subsidiary of Wienerberger AG and a leading manufacturer of one of the world’s oldest green building materials, has expanded its commitment to environmental responsibility with the implementation of a company-wide recycling program at each of its 54 locations nationwide.
“Environmental stewardship has always been a priority for our company,” says General Shale President and CEO Dick Green. “Our products come from the earth, and technology has improved so that production processes require 70 percent less energy than in the 1970s. The recycling program adds another dimension to General Shale’s environmentally friendly practices, establishing efficient procedures for what most of us have been doing for some time. We are already seeing significant results.”
One example is General Shale’s Blue Ridge plant in Roanoke, Va., which initiated a recycling program in 2010. The site now recycles two eight-yard containers each week, yielding 5.3 tons of paper in six months. Company-wide recycling efforts are expected to result in 80 tons of paper, 35 tons of wood pallets, six tons of plastics and 300 tons of steel recycled per year.
The recycling plan involves seven strategic steps, including auditing waste streams, determining the amount and type of containers needed, developing handling and storage procedures, and providing employee training, tracking progress, continually identifying additional recyclable items, and calculating cost effectiveness.
Since 1960 the amount of waste generated by Americans has nearly tripled. Each year, U.S. businesses trash enough paper to build a 12-foot wall from New York City to Los Angeles. Although only about one-tenth of all solid garbage is recycled, thousands of responsible companies – such as General Shale Brick – are adopting green practices that pay dividends in the form of natural resource conservation, pollution control and waste removal cost reduction.
Recycling is making a sizeable impact on the nation’s 230 million tons of trash per year in a variety of ways:
- Recycling one ton of mixed paper saves the energy equivalent of 185 gallons of gasoline;
- Recycling one million cell phones saves enough energy to power more than 19,000 homes with electricity for an entire year;
- Recycling one ton of waste pays $101 in salaries and wages, produces $275 more in goods and services, and generates $135 more in sales than disposal in a landfill.