General Motors Corp. announced this week that its transmission plant in White Marsh, Md., no longer sends any waste from its production operations to landfills.
The plant, scheduled to build the first two-mode hybrid transmissions for GM's full-size SUVs and pickups, has operated with zero landfill waste since May.
About 97% of the waste materials, or 7,300 tons, will be recycled or reused, with the remaining 3% being converted to energy at a waste-to-energy facility. In 2006, the plant recycled, reused or converted 99% of its waste.
The two-mode hybrid transmissions are expected to boost fuel efficiency in its SUVs and pickups by up to 25% over conventional gasoline Powertrain systems. They will debut in the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon, both of which will be available later this year.
Recycled materials and items included about 510 tons of aluminum, 600 tons of steel, 10 tons of alloy metals, 360 tons of wood pallets, 3 tons of paper, 20 tons of empty totes and drums, 250 tons of used oil, 220 tons of waste water residual and 5,400 tons of returnable packaging.
Company foundries recycled the aluminum to produce engine and transmission components while the steel, alloy metals and paper are sent to off-site recyclers for reconstitution into other products.
Used oil gets reconditioned into a manufacturing fuel additive while the Baltimore area fire departments and energy recovery efforts utilized the used wood pallets.
According to company sources, the plant becomes the company's eighth plant to reach zero landfill waste status. The other locations are: Tonawanda, NY; Flint and Wixom, Mich.; Gunsan and Bupyeong, Korea; and Kaiserslautern and Eisenach, Germany.