LG Chem Michigan has been recognized by NSF International as a Landfill Free Facility. NSF International awards this designation to facilities that send less than 1% of their total waste stream to a landfill and have less than 50% of their waste processed for energy recovery (‘waste to energy’ or WTE).
“Our products are part of a more sustainable future, and it is important to us that our process of building them supports that goal,” said Nick Kassanos, president of LG Chem MI.
Of LG Chem’s waste, 97.4% is repurposed, 2.5% goes to a waste energy facility, and less than 1% goes into a landfill. This low ‘waste to energy’ rate also qualifies LG Chem Michigan to use the Landfill-Free product mark, the threshold for which is a WTE rate of 10.0% or less.
The NSF International audit took one day to complete, compared to the standard two, because of the environmental team’s extensive tracking of waste. NSF completed the audit and approved the verification in October.
A Culture of Sustainability
According to Ralph Severns, senior environmental specialist of LG Chem MI, the first step toward landfill free verification is changing the office culture. He started the culture shift by removing 170 personal trash cans from desks. “Sustainability is part of our culture at LG Chem Michigan,” said Severns. ”Our team members have been an integral part of achieving the landfill free verification.”
LG Chem sends waste materials in 76 different directions and the byproducts are used in everything from Mylar® insulation to wood press board. LG Chem Michigan partners with Clean Planet Recycling.
“Even the fry oil from our in-house cafeteria is sent to a local carwash to heat water in their boiler,” said Kassanos. ”We are proud of our environmental team for going above and beyond to find ways to recycle waste creatively.”