West Liberty Foods, LLC, West Liberty, Iowa, announced that all of its facilities are landfill-free, with its West Liberty Foods and Liberty Cold operations in Bolingbrook, Ill., achieving this milestone in April. Since October 2015, the facilities have eliminated over 9.2 million pounds of waste from local landfills.
Building on West Liberty Foods’ success in transitioning its other three manufacturing locations to landfill-free, this move means the organization is said to be one of the first in the nation to be verified landfill-free companywide, eliminating nearly 120 million pounds annually of waste previously sent to local landfills, or approximately 5,000 garbage trucks.
“We are incredibly proud of the effort it took to accomplish this significant achievement in our company,” says Ed Garrett, president and CEO. “We are committed to ensuring we remain landfill-free long-term, always striving to improve our environmental footprint.”
Environmental, health and safety director Michelle Boney was a driving force in the efforts, implementing small process changes that led to large waste reductions.
“Commitment from company leadership and awareness of employees are key to successfully making the change,” Boney adds. “Working together, we developed a way to do things differently, implemented new processes and finding an alternative for all waste.”
The company engages in robust recycling programs and partnerships with waste vendors, relying on employees to take actions to minimize byproducts. All of West Liberty Foods’ locations employ ISO 14001-certified environmental management systems to help manage environmental impact, including waste elimination.
West Liberty Foods also developed and implemented a waste-reduction business plan, allowing its Tremonton, Utah, facility to become the company’s first landfill-free facility in February 2012. By the end of 2012, two other West Liberty Foods operations – Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, and West Liberty, Iowa – also achieved landfill-free status.
West Liberty Foods’ landfill-free status was independently verified by NSF International Strategic Registrations (NSF-ISR).