Siemon boasts zero-landfill headquarters, manufacturing

The Watertown, CT corporate headquarters and U.S. manufacturing facility recycles, reuses, or repurposes more than 99 percent of its waste material.

October 30, 2009 – Siemon recently announced its global headquarters and United States manufacturing facility, located in Watertown, CT, is a zero-landfill operation. An ISO-14001-driven internal audit of the company’s operations showed that more than 99 percent of the waste material at the Watertown campus is recycled, reused, or repurposed in an environmentally sustainable manner.

The company’s efficiency and environmental-management programs include a 95 percent recycling rate on all waste material, including byproducts and office scrap. These ongoing recycling efforts ensured that more than 900 tons of waste materials were reused in 2008 alone, the company says. Siemon adds that all remaining non-recyclable items are transported to a nearby waste-to-energy plant, where they are incinerated under carefully controlled conditions to produce electricity. A small amount of ash, the byproduct of the waste-to-energy process, is all that reaches a landfill.

Siemon reports that its efforts also include combining extended recycling capabilities with strong employee support. Throughout the facility, one can find clearly marked recycling stations that help separate waste material into proper containers. Compost bins are provided to ensure food scraps do not enter the trash.

Paul Knickerbocker, the company’s plant engineering and facilities manager, explained the achievement of the zero-landfill benchmark was not a result of a single effort, but rather of years of full-scale efficiency and waste management initiatives. “Since 2006, and perhaps even earlier, 97 to 98 percent of our waste was being repurposed,” he said. “To get beyond 99 percent we looked hard at our garbage and found that with the right recycling programs, we could divert even more from the garbage waste-stream.”

Company president and chief executive officer Carl Siemon pointed out the employees’ role in the achievement. “This is a team effort all the way,” he said. “To make it work, everyone at Siemon has truly stepped up their recycling efforts. While that has paid great dividends here, we also hope it encourages more recycling at home and beyond.”

Knickerbocker added the zero-landfill status is just one part of a more-comprehensive ‘green’ effort, along with the company’s implementation of a renewable solar energy program, forestland conservation, and other efforts. “When you have made environmental stewardship a matter of corporate culture for as long as we have, it is hard to look at any one benchmark and say, ‘We’ve made it.’ We’re proud to be zero-landfill, but we can’t lose sight of Siemon’s other, equally important green initiatives.”

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