NewAge Industries, Southampton, Pa., achieved zero-waste, landfill-free status company-wide. All of the company’s waste is reused, recycled or disposed of by combustion at a local energy from waste (EfW) facility.
“This has been a goal of ours as part of our sustainability program,” says Ken Baker, chief executive officer. “We went solar in 2011. Plant investments followed in the form of new windows, energy efficient lighting, building insulation and high-efficiency motors and capacitors. Going landfill free was a logical step.”
As a manufacturer of plastic and rubber tubing, NewAge generates waste material during the production process. Plastic tubing that is extruded at the start of a production run is a manufacturing byproduct; it isn’t used until the tubing meets the required dimensions. This scrapped material, of which there can be thousands of pounds each year, is reused and made into new tubing whenever possible. Some rubber tubing scrap is also recyclable and incorporated into other industrial products.
NewAge has had a robust recycling plan in place for over 20 years. Each team member has two trash containers—a black one for non-recyclable waste and a blue one for recyclable materials such as paper, plastic and glass. Separate containers store both types of waste outdoors before pickup and transport to an appropriate facility, either a recycler or an EfW facility. Used cardboard boxes and cardboard packaging is recycled separately and also goes into its own container, where it’s compacted into manageable bundles for recycling.
Non-recyclable trash is taken to a nearby EfW facility and burned as part of an energy recovery system. There, metals are removed from the waste and recycled, and the remaining trash is burned and used to heat water. The heated water is converted to steam, which then drives turbine generators to produce electricity.
“We’re proud to be part of an environmentally friendly solution to the challenge of waste disposal,” says Baker. “It makes NewAge a better neighbor and supports corporate social responsibility. It just makes good business sense.”