Kingsford US plants align to achieve zero waste

Our Summer Shade, Kentucky, plant was one of four Kingsford facilities that collaborated in June to achieve zero-waste-to-landfill status.

By Jonathan Scruggs, Global Environmental and Sustainability Technical Lead

As individual sites continue to drive toward our enterprisewide zero-waste-to-landfill goals, one team decided to accelerate this process by working together to achieve ZWtL status across all our Kingsford plants in the U.S.

In a first for the company since we began our ZWtL journey, multiple sites worked collaboratively in the final quarter of our 2022 fiscal year to achieve this milestone together. With coaching from ZWtL “veterans” at our Kingsford plants in Springfield, Oregon, and Parsons, West Virginia, our Kingsford plants in Glen, Mississippi; Summer Shade and Burnside, Kentucky; and Belle, Missouri, each overcame their own unique obstacles to successfully pass internal audits. The environmental coordinators at each of the four sites also collaborated to ensure that even the least experienced moved through this work efficiently. 

For any one of these sites to achieve this milestone is a major culture shift, requiring a change in established processes, training and internal checks. Even after doing all this work and changing our operating culture to maximize scrap sorting and recycling and reduce scrap discarded to a dumpster, these remote locations were challenged to find outlets for the final waste volume so they could avoid using landfills in any way. Local and state waste flow rules made this task particularly challenging in Burnside, where our team persevered and found waste-to-energy operations that met regulatory requirements.

Teamwork made the difference for these sites. The net result was four Kingsford plants achieving this milestone within the month of June – together. Their success also meant all our Kingsford facilities are now zero waste to landfill, two years ahead of plans. Most importantly, the milestone represents a significant step forward for the company in achieving our goals of achieving ZWtL in all plants by 2025 and all global facilities by 2030.