keeping scrap out of the landfill
In manufacturing, cutting parts from stock material yields scrap which often ends up in landfills. But what if there were a way to protect the environment by keeping scrap out of the landfill and instead using it to produce parts for other products?
At Johnson Controls, we’re doing just that.
Among the products our Holland, Mich., plant produces are headliners -- the fabrics that cover the interiors of automobile roofs. When scrap is left over from cutting the headliners, instead of trucking it to a landfill, we send it to a compounder to who converts it into plastic pellets. The pellets are turned into resin which can be injection-molded to form whatever plastic parts we may need, depending on the application.
We have identified numerous potential applications for recycled resin – among them, plastic door knobs, brackets and other small parts for furnaces. We’re also looking at replacing metal housings for our residential air conditioning units with corrosion-free plastic made from recycled resin.
A environmentally-friendly solution
By just implementing the applications we’ve identified so far, 530 tons of scrap will go into plastic parts instead of landfills. Using recycled resin rather than making plastic from scratch will save 24 million BTUs worth of energy and 271,000 gallons of oil while reducing CO2 emissions. That’s the result of producing just one type of resin for a few parts at one plant. Imagine the significant environmental benefits of turning scrap into several types of recycled resins to produce thousands of parts at our facilities worldwide.
“We’re looking at virtually all of our plastic part production for opportunities to produce them with recycled materials,” said Johnson Controls sourcing manager Bob Parks. “We believe that there are endless possibilities to make a positive environmental impact with this practical and sustainable solution.“