LANSING, Mich. (AP) — General Motors Co. said Tuesday that it's reached a landmark when it comes to keeping stuff out of landfills.
The Detroit-based automaker said its 100th global facility, a parts distribution center in Lansing, has achieved "landfill-free" status.
"What that means, quite literally, is that no materials leave this plant and end up in a landfill," Mike Robinson, GM's vice president of sustainability and global regulatory affairs, told reporters on a conference call.
The company said it first reduces waste and then focuses on recycling and reuse. That includes recycling scrap cardboard into sound absorbers for vehicle roofs and used tires from the automaker's Milford proving ground into air deflectors around radiators in pickup trucks.
Paper from the automaker's Detroit-area office facilities also is recycled, and the byproducts go to Battle Creek-based food maker Kellogg Co. for its cereal boxes, GM spokeswoman Sharon Basel said.
The automaker said it recycled or reused 2.6 million metric tons at plants worldwide last year — equivalent to about 38 million garbage bags. That is 90 percent of all waste produced at its plants that year, GM said.
Not all of the remaining 10 percent goes into landfills, the company added. A little more than 2 percent was incinerated for power production in 2011, and 5.5 percent, or 215,000 metric tons, went to landfills, spokeswoman Sharon Basel said.
The automaker said it has reduced total waste by about 43 percent since 1997. It has pledged to make 25 more facilities "landfill-free" by 2020.
Robinson said the company saved about $2.5 billion between 2007 and 2010 from its waste-reduction production.
"It's a way of running the business that we think makes sense" from a business and environmental standpoint, he said.
GM also announced the Lansing plant, which was built in the mid-1950s, received "Energy Star" certification by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. That represents a 35 percent reduction in energy use and emissions, Robinson said.