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Bridgestone plant earns UL's waste validation

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WILSON, N.C.—Bridgestone Americas Inc.'s tire plant in Wilson has become the first manufacturing facility of any kind to achieve the Underwriters Laboratories' landfill waste diversion claim validation for zero waste to landfill.

The citation is the highest claim validation UL gives for landfill waste diversion.

The passenger and light truck tire plant achieved its waste diversion goal last February and then began the process of applying for UL's claim validation.

The factory underwent an extensive, two-part UL audit, which included document evaluation and on-site visits. UL verified the plant's claim with 14 percent waste-to-energy, determining that a majority of the facility's waste-to-energy diversion—11 percent of that total—is the best possible use for the waste that was generated.

“I am so proud of the teammates at the Wilson facility for their commitment to being the first of Bridgestone's manufacturing sites, and the first manufacturing facility of any kind, to be recognized by UL Environment for this accomplishment,” said Wilson Plant Manager Gary Williamson.

“This achievement validates all of their hard work and continues to position our company as a leader in identifying and implementing innovative solutions to support environmental sustainability.”

Facility leadership worked closely with Waste Management Sustainability Services to identify all of the remnant waste materials from manufacturing processes, such as whole scrap tires, rubber components and packaging.

They also looked at ancillary support processes such as offices and cafeterias and found other beneficial-use markets for these materials, according to the tire maker.

Bridgestone said its passenger and light truck tire plant in Aiken, S.C., achieved zero waste to landfill in December 2012.

Since adding a corporate recycling focus in 2006, recycling by the company's plants in Aiken; Bloomington, Ill.; Des Moines, Iowa; Joliette, Quebec; LaVergne, Tenn.; Monterrey, Mexico; Warren, Tenn.; and Wilson, N.C., has increased from nearly half of all waste going to landfills to less than 15 percent overall.

“UL Environment's validation of our zero waste to landfill achievement at Wilson demonstrates to our customers, our communities and our teammates that we are a corporate partner highly committed to helping ensure a healthy environment for current and future generations,” said Tim Bent, Bridgestone Americas director of environmental affairs.