Sonoco, one of the largest diversified packaging companies, has granted a silver-level Sonoco Sustainability Star Award to its Display & Packaging facility in Iowa City, Iowa, for successful and exemplary efforts to reduce its waste to landfill and implement sustainability-oriented processes.
Administered by Sonoco Recycling, the Sonoco Sustainability Star Awards program is comprised of three tiers. Gold awards recognize facilities that have achieved 99 percent landfill diversion; silver awards honor facilities achieving 95 percent landfill diversion; and bronze awards distinguish facilities that have made significant waste reduction achievements, such as drastically reducing their waste streams or implementing a new composting system. The Iowa City facility worked to capture more recyclable materials from its production waste streams as well as its office and break spaces. To limit employee access to landfill streams, an electronic lock was placed on the trash compactor, and specific individuals were designated and trained to manage waste streams and identify recyclables to be diverted. To make recycling easier, recycling containers were placed on each production line, as well as in office and break areas. Ultimately, these changes resulted in 98 percent of waste being diverted from the landfill.
“Sonoco’s Iowa City facility has worked hard and found creative solutions to drastically reduce their waste to landfill in a short period of time,” said Mike Pope, general manager and president, Sonoco Recycling. “They’ve set a great example for other Sonoco facilities to follow.”
A recycling leader with locations and expertise worldwide, Sonoco Recycling annually collects more than 3 million tons of old corrugated containers, various grades of paper, metals and plastics. In addition, the Company has experts who provide secure, reliable and innovative recycling solutions to residential and commercial customers. Currently, Sonoco Recycling operates four material recovery facilities (MRFs) serving more than 125 communities in which curbside-collected residential as well as commercial materials are processed. The Company also operates recycling programs, which identify waste reduction opportunities that reduce operating expenses for many of the largest consumer product companies in the United States.