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Boeing South Carolina achieves zero waste to landfill status

News International-French

20 Apr 2011

The aircraft manufacturer announced on April 13, 2011 that its Boeing South Carolina 787 production, final assembly and delivery site has become the company’s first major commercial airplane production facility to achieve zero waste to landfill status.

The North Charleston, S.C., site is the fourth within Boeing to reach this milestone achievement.


Zero waste to landfill means that none of the waste materials and by-products generated at the site reaches landfill. Waste material is recycled or reused or otherwise repurposed, reducing the site’s overall environmental footprint.


"We are committed to being an environmentally responsible corporate citizen, both here in the South Carolina Lowcountry and in every community where Boeing operates," said Tom Deem, Boeing South Carolina Environment, Health and Safety director. “That commitment reflects the priorities of our fellow South Carolinians who make their homes here and want to preserve and protect this unique ecosystem.”


Ongoing employee awareness activities, innovative solutions to numerous waste stream challenges, and a partnership with Sonoco Recycling, a South Carolina-based packaging and materials recovery company, are some of the Boeing South Carolina initiative’s key components.


Components of the site’s zero waste to landfill plan include a comprehensive recycling program with point-of-use containers as well as recycling centers located across the site. Food scraps also are collected in cafeterias and break rooms for composting. Larger packaging waste materials that can’t be reused are removed from the site by Sonoco for recycling or repurposing.


"'Reduce, reuse, and recycle' is the foundation for our zero waste to landfill plan," explained Tony Soto, site Environment, Health and Safety manager and Zero Waste to Landfill project lead. "We capitalized on the unique opportunity to establish the program early at the site to support Boeing enterprise targets for solid waste recycling and demonstrate our commitment to environmental stewardship. We are reducing the amount of material we bring onsite by utilizing reusable containers whenever possible, which are returned to suppliers."


Zero waste to landfill is just one of many ways that Boeing South Carolina is demonstrating its environmental stewardship. When the land was cleared to prepare for the construction of the new 787 Final Assembly building, approximately 2,100 tons of timber was taken to local sawmills and made into lumber used in construction. The remaining wood stock was fed into chippers and used as a renewable power source for industrial boilers. Boeing South Carolina received a Spotlight Award from the Carolina Recycling Association on March 31 for these conservation efforts. 


The site is aligned to meet or exceed the Enterprise standard for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification goal of Silver, as established by the U.S. Green Energy Council, for all new buildings currently under construction. The company has sponsored and participated in local Earth Day events and activities and continues to encourage participation by all Boeing South Carolina teammates in recycling efforts at work and home.


"This is an exciting time for Boeing South Carolina," said Jack Jones, site vice president and general manager. “We’re continuing to produce 787 mid and aft body sections and we’re preparing to induct the first airplane into Final Assembly here in South Carolina this summer. At the same time, our team also remains focused on our responsibilities to the environment and our community.”

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