HARTSVILLE, S.C. - Sonoco, one of the largest diversified packaging companies, has awarded a bronze-level Sonoco Sustainability Star Award to its Sonoco Recycling facility in Savannah, Ga., for successful and exemplary efforts to reduce its waste to landfill and implement sustainability-oriented processes.
Administered by Sonoco Recycling, the Sonoco Sustainability Star Awards program is comprised of three tiers. Gold awards recognize facilities that have achieved 99 percent landfill diversion; silver awards honor facilities achieving 95 percent landfill diversion; and bronze awards distinguish facilities that have made significant waste reduction achievements, such as drastically reducing their waste streams or implementing a new composting system.
Starting last summer, staff at the Sonoco Recycling facility in Savannah took a hard look at its business operations, in terms of both cost and sustainability. Working together, the team realized that by diverting dry waste material from their normal waste streams and taking it to a waste-to-energy service provider every month, they could save money and lessen their environmental impact. Now, only wet or bulky waste goes in the Dumpster, and all other waste is converted to energy via hauling trips that are often combined with normal hauling operations to optimize freight cost and lessen the facility’s carbon footprint.
“This process change is a first for a Sonoco Recycling location,” said Mike Pope, general manager and president, Sonoco Recycling. “The plant is doing a great job capturing a large amount of waste for recovery in waste-to-energy programming, and their improvements have positive implications for both sustainability and cost savings.”
A recycling leader with locations and expertise worldwide, Sonoco Recycling annually collects more than 3 million tons of old corrugated containers, various grades of paper, metals and plastics. In addition, the Company has experts who provide secure, reliable and innovative recycling solutions to residential and commercial customers. Currently, Sonoco Recycling operates four material recovery facilities (MRFs) serving more than 125 communities in which curbside-collected residential as well as commercial materials are processed. The Company also operates recycling programs, which identify waste reduction opportunities that reduce operating expenses for many of the largest consumer product companies in the United States.