Thursday, November 15, 2012

Calsonic in Lewisburg Recognized by TDEC

Calsonic-Lewisburg Goes Zero Landfill
November 2012
Office of Sustainable Practices

About the Project
Calsonic Kansei North America, Inc. (CKNA) is a major manufacturer of quality electronic components, aluminum and plastic cooling systems, front-end, and cockpit assemblies for most major automobile manufacturers. The CKNA facility in Lewisburg, TN, is the largest employer in Marshall County, with approximately 1000 team members.
In February 2012, CKNA-Lewisburg reached a very significant goal and milestone, and joined a small but steadily growing fraternity of sustainability leaders in Tennessee by becoming “landfill-free” at their manufacturing facility.
“Project Zero” was initiated in the fall of 2010, when a group of hourly employees was organized to help identify what materials were being sent to the landfill, and of these, which could be additionally diverted and recycled. CKNA-Lewisburg already had a robust recycling program, but a temporary closure of the local
solid waste landfill prompted them to make the commitment to completely eliminate landfill disposal. Once the additional items that could be recycled were identified, employees were educated and collection systems were put in place to capture the diverted materials. The initial goal was to achieve zero-landfill status by
2015. The results have been both dramatic and ahead of schedule. In FY 2009, the year prior to implementing “Project Zero,” CKNA-Lewisburg sent over 921 tons of waste to the landfill. By FY 2011, that amount was down to just over 187 tons per year, with February 2012 being the first month that “zero landfill” was accomplished – meaning that nothing from the manufacturing facility is currently being disposed by landfill. Underscoring the significance of this is the fact that these reductions have been accomplished during a period of rapidly increasing production at the facility. As one might expect, corresponding recycling metrics have also been impressive, with the tonnages of cardboard and plastic recycled increasing by almost 40% during this same time frame. In FY 2011, CKNA-Lewisburg recycled over 680 tons of cardboard and 815 tons of plastic. This represents 44,424 million BTUs of energy saved (equivalent to 355,396 gallons of gasoline), and 2914 metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions avoided, as compared to landfill disposal of these materials, according to the U.S. EPAs Waste Reduction Model (WARM) conversion calculator. The Zero Landfill initiative also resulted in the elimination of two trash compactors and one
30-yard open top container. Two compactors are now used to collect recycled material, which is sent to the Marshall County recycling center. Currently, all but approximately 5-8% of the waste material generated at the CKNA-Lewisburg manufacturing site is being recycled. This last 5-8% is sent to a waste-to-energy
facility in Huntsville, Alabama where it is incinerated to generate electricity. Although the cost per ton to send this remaining material to the Huntsville facility is significantly higher than it would be to landfill, it is still projected to be less than the total baseline landfill disposal costs, and further reflects CKNA’s commitment
to “do the right thing.” The CKNA “Project Zero” team also continues to look for ways to further reduce the waste that is being sent for incineration.
The effort to increase recycling and engage CKNA-Lewisburg team members was not limited to their assembly lines. Approximately 80 personal trash cans were removed from all desks from the administrative office areas located among four different buildings.
According to Kevin Reinhart, Safety/Environmental Manager at CKNALewisburg, office employees are now more likely to recycle since they have to take their personal items up to the main (front office)
recycle center, which has multiple collection.

Project Features:

  • CKNA has achieved “Zero Landfill” status in less than three years
  • Temporary closure of local landfill led to this project, which includes an approximate 40% increase in recycling efforts at the company.