Wilsonart’s Fletcher Distribution Center Moves Closer Toward Zero Waste to Landfill Goal

Center Decreases Waste by 1,850 Pounds in Just Three Months

TEMPLE, TX (July 30, 2013) – Zero landfill contribution is a daunting sustainability goal, but with its Fletcher Distribution Center also leading the way, Wilsonart is making strides in its waste reduction movement. In just three months, the distribution center went from producing 2,000 pounds of landfill waste per week to less than 150 pounds through greater efforts to recycle, compost and repurpose materials. Wilsonart’s Fletcher Distribution Center is on track to produce less than 500 pounds of landfill waste per month, a reduction of more than 90 percent.

“Our initial objective was employee engagement,” said Andrew Lambert, production manager at the Fletcher facility. “Education was crucial in helping our employees understand the purpose of the initiative, and teaching them how to isolate recyclables to remove them from the waste stream. Once we showed them it was possible, and gave them attainable goals, they really ran with the torch.”

The facility then worked on thinking outside of the dumpster. By reducing their 15-yard, open-top dumpster to a smaller, industrial receptacle, employees were challenged to examine the waste that remained and find ways to reduce it. The most creative aspect of their waste reduction efforts was a partnership with Danny’s Dumpster, which collects over 800 pounds of compost from the center every week. The company also established a green board which houses challenges and encouragements including letters from those who had visited the facility and were impressed by their green practices. The center even encouraged vendors who weren’t using recyclable materials to change their practices.

“If a vendor sent us something that we couldn’t reuse or recycle, we sent it back,” said Lambert. “The cost of the recyclable materials is higher for them, but as more and more companies start to expect sustainable practices, our vendors need to be part of the solution.”

Due to the success of their initiative, the Fletcher Distribution Center has begun sharing the program across the company, showcasing the efforts at a recent best practices forum and challenging other Wilsonart warehouses to join them in the movement towards zero landfill.

“It’s not only the right thing to do from a business perspective, but it’s also the right thing to do from a sustainability perspective,” adds Lambert. “We need to take care of our environment, and I couldn’t be more proud of the work our team has done in the last three months to really make a sustainable difference.”

Published at: 07-30-2013