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Milliken receives Sonoco Sustainability Star Award
19
Nov '11
Sonoco Recycling, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sonoco and one of the largest packaging recyclers in North America, announced that Milliken & Company, located in Spartanburg, S.C., has received a gold-tier Sonoco Sustainability Star Award for going landfill free.

"Milliken published an environmental policy in 1990 with a goal of zero waste to landfill as part of our company's Pursuit of Excellence program," said Michael Baird, senior environmental specialist, Milliken & Company. "In 1992 our first manufacturing plant achieved zero waste to landfill status, and by 1995 20 plants sent zero waste to landfill."

In announcing the award, Jim Brown, vice president, Sonoco Recycling, said, "Milliken's sustainability goals match up well with our Company's focus on environmental responsibility, and it is an honor to recognize them with our gold-tier Sonoco Sustainability Star Award."

To achieve landfill-free status, each location created a baseline by quantifying their solid waste, categorized by type and destination, such as landfill, reused or recycled. An in-house program was written for a solid waste database, where locations reported data each accounting period. Landfill pounds, indexed to 1989, have been reduced from 1.000 to 0.003, corresponding to an approximately 99.7-percent reduction in solid waste landfilled.

Materials diverted by Milliken include pallets, fiber plastics, containers, glass, carpet trim, canteen and general trash, tires, roofing and other construction and demolition (C&D) debris. The company's program is unique in that it counts all solid waste, including scrap, C&D, waste water treatment sludge and other indirect solid waste, such as boiler coal ash. Milliken's engineering group also figured out how to burn the company's sludge as fuel in its boilers.

"Milliken's commitment to sustainability goes back more than 100 years," added Baird. "As we look to the future, it is important to us to work with companies like Sonoco that are just as committed to sustainability and environmental responsibility."

Created to recognize customer and Sonoco facilities for achieving significant milestones in landfill diversion and waste stream reduction, the program is comprised of three tiers:
• Gold Star Awards, which recognize facilities that have achieved 99 percent landfill diversion;
• Silver Star Recognition, which is awarded to facilities achieving 95 percent landfill diversion; and
• Bronze Awards, which recognize facilities that have made significant waste reduction achievements, such as drastically reducing their waste streams or implementing a new composting system.

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.

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