Global solid waste generation is increasing rapidly and is anticipated to exceed 11 million tons per day by 2100. Waste in landfills can cause soil and water contamination, and waste materials such as plastics and ash from incineration can be costly to manage. Solid waste management is one of the greatest costs in municipal budgets, and it can represent a significant, but often-manageable cost to companies as well.i,ii
Gardner Denver Thomas, a subsidiary of Gardner Denver Medical Group, manufactures vacuum pump and compressor technologies including: articulated piston, WOB-L piston, diaphragm, rotary vane, linear, liquid diaphragm, liquid linear diaphragm, and peristaltic.
To reduce waste disposal and associated costs in its Monroe, Louisiana, facility, Gardner Denver Thomas implemented a number of waste diversion and recycling efforts. In 2016, these actions included:
- Reduced volume of cardboard waste from 800 lbs. per day prior to recycling efforts.
- Converted disposal of wire from a cost to a revenue stream.
- Reduced waste bin pickups from twice a week to once a month or less.
- Identified a source to take and recycle wooden pallets at no additional charge to the company.
- Added baling equipment to enable plastics recycling.
These improvements in waste management helped Gardner Denver Thomas reduce tons of waste by approximately 86 percent between 2011 and 2017iv and lower related costs by approximately 85 percent between 2013 and 2017. The decreased costs resulted primarily from a reduction in waste management needs.