Footprint Reduction Summary: Waste
Reduce, Recycle, Reuse Waste
We’re working hard to minimize the waste from our operations, and we have a long-term goal to become zero waste-to-landfill. By 2020, we’ve set a goal to have 10 zero-waste-to-landfill sites (90 percent of waste is either recycled or composted with the rest of waste sent to a waste-to-energy facility). Two facilities have already reached this milestone, and three other sites are close to achieving a zero-waste-to-landfill designation. We’re working hard to install robust recycling programs at all of our plants and offices, where we already divert an average of more than 80 percent of waste from landfill.
Reducing Hazardous Waste
Eliminating hazardous waste is good for the environment, and Clorox employs manufacturing practices that improve the efficiency of our processes and minimize the need for hazardous waste. Any waste that is generated is handled by approved vendors and properly tracked throughout the process.
Although Clorox is a light manufacturer that produces a modest amount of solid waste (the vast majority of which is non-hazardous in nature), we know minimizing waste is good for the planet and good for business. In 2012, we set a goal to reduce waste to landfill by 20 percent by 2020 (per case sold versus 2011) at our facilities worldwide. Since 2008, we’ve reduced our solid water to landfill by 46 percent on an intensity basis (per case of product sold) and 42 percent on an absolute basis. Four years into our current 2020 goal period, we’ve reduced our solid waste to landfill by 25 percent on an intensity basis (per case of product sold versus 2011) versus our 20 percent reduction goal. On an absolute basis we’ve reduced solid waste to landfill by 21 percent in this same period. This represents a reduction of 2,105 tons of solid waste sent to landfill in 2015 versus 2011.
Over the past several years, our employees have conducted numerous “dumpster dives” — literally digging and sorting through the trash to see how we could reduce waste — and ultimately found ways to reduce our solid waste at all of these facilities by more than half. We’ve also expanded our use of third-party recyclers to increase our diversion-from-landfill rates, and we’ll continue to look for more ways to reuse our waste and expand our recycling and composting efforts.
*Clorox sold its Oakland, California, offices in 2013 and discontinued its Venezuela operations in 2014. Total solid waste-to-landfill for 2011 (the baseline year for our 2020 waste reduction goal) was recalculated to exclude solid waste sent to landfill at these facilities. Data for 2012 and 2013 were not recalculated
Zero-Waste to Landfill Program
Our employees are working diligently to have 10 zero-waste-to-landfill sites by 2020. Our Fairfield, California, and Orangeville, Ontario, plants have already reached this milestone, and three other Clorox facilities are also close to achieving a zero-waste-to-landfill designation. This requires a facility to:
- Reduce, reuse, recycle or compost at least 90 percent of the waste streams at the site.
- Ensure no commonly recycled items such as paper, plastic, corrugate or aluminum are in the remaining waste.
- Send the remaining 10 percent or less of waste to a waste-to-energy facility.
Most of our facilities have significantly reduced the amount of waste sent to landfill, and our U.S. manufacturing facilities have an average landfill diversion rate of more than 80 percent.
The Orangeville plant achieved its zero-waste-to-landfill status in 2015. The plant spent years working on and improving its recycling programs, which includes a composting program and training for contractors and new employees. In 2014, the plant’s diversion rate was more than 97 percent, with less than 3 percent of waste going to landfill. In 2015, the plant began diverting its remaining non-recyclable material to a regional waste-to-energy facility.
In 2011, our Fairfield plant began partnering with a third-party vendor to implement an innovative recycling program that, among other things, identified additional recyclable materials and strategically placed recycling containers to allow easy access for employees. Since then, the Fairfield plant has recycled nearly 2,000 tons of materials and composts virtually all employee food waste. Since 2011, the plant has reduced its landfill waste by more than 70 percent and currently diverts more than 98 percent of its waste stream from landfill. We’ve since expanded this third-party vendor program to additional facilities, where we are seeing similar strong results.
In 2010, our cat litter plant in Spring Hill, Kansas, was one of our largest waste-to-landfill contributors. The team set a goal to reduce its landfill waste by tackling its biggest challenge: segregating and capturing reclaimable clay. The team’s reclamation work, as well as other measures, has lowered the plant’s landfill waste by about 70 percent since 2010, and the plant is focused on finding more waste-to-landfill reductions.
Clorox produces a modest amount of hazardous waste, which we’re committed to minimizing in our facilities. We also ensure that any waste generated is properly handled by approved vendors and properly tracked throughout the handling process. We employ manufacturing practices that improve the efficiency of our processes and minimize the need for hazardous waste.
We’re committed to minimizing waste water from our facilities. We employ manufacturing practices that improve the efficiency of our processes and minimize the need for waste water.
Most of our major facilities celebrate Earth Day. It’s a time to reinforce our sustainability practices at work and tips for a more sustainable lifestyle at home. Events have included educational programs focused on the three Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle), an e-waste recycling drive and reduced-litter lunch events. Some facilities have also conducted a personalized Glad® One-Bag Challenge, aiming to reduce the amount of trash produced during the day, across the facility so that the trash would fit in just one Glad® trash bag. Employee-driven events like these have helped reinforce new recycling and waste reduction habits while reminding everyone that sustainability is a priority for the company.