Friday, February 22, 2013

GM Turns Steel Scrap Into Cash

Metal scraps ready for recycling
(Photo by Jeffrey Sauger for GM)
An excellent article by Forbes' Joann Muller highlights General Motors (GM) ability to turn their manufacturing "waste", such as steel scrap, into a $1 billion per year financial return to offset costs.
General Motors sees those leftover steel cutouts, roughly four feet square, as a marketable commodity. It sells them directly to a local steel fabricator, Blue Star Steel, which uses them to stamp out small brackets for heating and air conditioning equipment for other industries, skipping the foundry altogether. Everyone benefits: GM maximizes the value of that leftover material; Blue Star Steel saves money buying scrap steel, and the environment is spared additional greenhouse gas emissions from a foundry. 

Some of the additional highlights of GM's accomplishments include diverting 2.5 million metric tons of waste from landfills and highlighting their "landfill-free" facilities worldwide, totaling 104 which includes 84 manufacturing sites that reuse or recycle 97 percent of their waste and convert the remainder into energy.

John Bradburn, GM's manager of waste-reduction efforts also discusses why sustainability goes beyond just environmental aspects by allowing the financial aspects to be a return on investment to continue growing those efforts.

For more information on GM's recycling efforts, click here.

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