TORONTO — None of GM Canada’s manufacturing facilities send waste to landfills, a policy the company said has helped it save money and become more efficient.
Doug Yates, director of environmental affairs, said transitioning each of its plants to landfill-free operations has forced the company to examine virtually every aspect of the manufacturing process. He said GM has tweaked operations to reduce waste and has worked with suppliers on ways to more efficiently use products.
GM is one of several automakers to eliminate waste at plants. Honda has said it produces zero waste at its Alliston, Ont., assembly plants, while Ford’s Oakville, Ont., assembly plant went landfill-free in 2014.
“It’s good for the environment. It’s also good for the bottom line,” Yates said.
Oshawa Assembly and the Canadian Technical Centre Oshawa campus joined GM’s growing, global list of landfill-free facilities in February. GM said it has 142 facilities around the globe that recycle, reuse or convert its waste to energy, including all manufacturing plants in Mexico and South America as well as Canada.
“It helps us to become more efficient,” Yates said. “Certainly, if you’re engineering something out [of the manufacturing process], you’re not buying a material in the first place. Or if you’re using it efficiently, you’re consuming less overall, which is helpful.”