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Reducing, reusing, and recycling

Cabling facility waste reused, landfill avoided

Project avoids waste management costs

Project avoids waste management costs

Reducing, reusing, and recycling became the theme for a recent roof upgrade project at Corning’s Optical Communications facility in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, reducing project costs.

Winston-Salem’s site energy team with Global Energy Management (GEM) identified a third party to repurpose 100 percent of the old roof membrane to use in the upgrade of a non-Corning facility, eliminating the need to send the material to a landfill. The third party removed all old membranes free of charge, reducing waste management cost. The team also recycled 85 percent of the old insulation foam and 100 percent of all metals.

The new reflective roof and added insulation provide approximately 1,300,000 kilowatt-hours in savings for the plant, equivalent to the annual energy use of approximately 120 homes in the United States.

“The lesson learned with this project is that being ‘green’ does not necessarily have to be costly,” said Winston-Salem’s site energy manager. “For manufacturing facilities, non-green processes are generally related to waste materials sent to landfill and increased energy cost due to inefficient processes, both of which cost money.”

Advice and questions to ask before sending materials to landfills:

  • Can we prevent waste?
  • Can we minimize waste?
  • Can we repurpose/recycle waste internally?
  • Can we repurpose/recycle waste through a third party?
  • If a vendor is not available, can a private party repurpose/recycle?