Daimler Subsidiary Achieves Zero-Waste Three Months Early

Daimler Subsidiary Achieves Zero-Waste Three Months Early

Image courtesy of FCCC

Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. (FCCC) used to send 250,000 pounds of solid waste to landfills every month.

Roughly three years later, FCCC, which is owned by Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), achieved zero-waste-to-landfill status as part of a pilot program that will help other Daimler Trucks manufacturing facilities go landfill waste-free. The company said it is the first chassis manufacturer and trucking industry company to achieve the milestone in the U.S.

"Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. easily surpassed our corporate goal by realizing zero-waste-to-landfill status three months earlier than our original January 2010 target date," Roger Nielsen, Daimler Trucks’ COO, said in a statement Thursday.

Daimler AG chose the FCCC site in late 2007 as part of a broader goal of trimming the carbon footprint of Daimler manufacturing facilities. A newly formed green team was pivotal in the FCCC site meeting its target, the company said, and even traveled to Indiana to visit a zero-waste auto manufacturing plant owned by Suburu to observe best practices. The green team also created the Environmental Team SharePoint portal on the FCCC intranet site to communicate to employees its progress and drive awareness of a standardized labeling method to be used to identify and sort waste.

"It's the team's tenaciousness and foresight that enabled our company as a whole to work toward a healthier environment and a cleaner community,” FCCC President Bob Harbin said in a statement. “We knew being selected as the pilot facility for DTNA was going to set the bar for other DTNA brands.”

A broad range of initiatives were introduced as part of the pilot, such as a recycling program that encouraged vendors and suppliers to reuse packaging. Within months of beginning the initiative, FCCC registered to team with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's WasteWise partnership. In 2008, the company introduced recycling centers to its canteen and employee break room areas and initiated plastics and rubber recycling programs.

The facility, which produces chassis for the commerical bus, school bus, motorhome and walk-in van markets, also recycles paper, aluminum, cardboard, metals, wood and nylon. The FCCC plant diverted more than four million pounds of waste from landfills in 2008, leading to a 37 percent drop in disposal costs. By July 2009, FCCC was 97.3 percent landfill-waste free.

Image courtesy of FCCC.