Veolia of Kansas City, a division of the French-owned, transnational firm Veolia Environment S.A , today announced the launch of a “Zero Waste to Landfill” initiative in its Kansas City facility in the River Market area. Veolia is the 4th known business in the metro to fully implement such an initiative company-wide. Working with Bridging The Gap, Veolia leaders from the plant analyzed the company’s waste and by-products, and found alternatives to landfills for each one of them. “We have a history of diverting the waste and are now taking it a step further by launching a full Zero Waste to Landfill program”, said General Manager Matt DiGeronimo, “This project is a great symbol of Veolia International’s commitment to use natural resources very, very carefully, wasting almost nothing, not even the water in steam. That’s actually the basis of Veolia’s business around the world.”
Prior to the launch, Veolia was recycling typical co-mingled materials such as cardboard, plastic and paper and recycling more than 60 tons of scrap metal annually. Veolia diverts ~12,000 tons of leftover ash (from burning coal to make electricity) which is used for ground stabilization in mines. Now, Veolia is going beyond that, some examples include: food scraps for composting; recycling ceiling tiles; and the sending a small amount of waste to Systech Environmental to be used as waste-to-alternative fuel. This fuel replaces fossil fuels and the ash is incorporated into the final product, Portland Cement. These processes result in diverting 99.89% of all waste generated by Veolia.
Being “landfill free” has many benefits: recycling creates jobs; saves natural resources and energy; reduces carbon emissions; and saves landfill space. In some cases, like waste being sent to Systech, waste reduces the need to mine other fuels like coal.
Mr. DiGeronimo praised the dedication of his Veolia team implementing the goal of “zero waste to landfill”, especially the leadership of Mechanic/Welder Fernando Moreno, who spearheaded the project. “Going “zero waste” requires behavior change on the part of every employee,” said Mr. Moreno. “We’ve restructured the program, to capture all materials, and added bins with proper signage all over the plant which show everybody how to separate materials. It’s the ultimate team effort, and it’s worth it to do our part to protect our environment.”
The Veolia plant, located in the River Market at 3rd and Grand, employs 28 people and provides centrally-produced steam and chilled water for 60 customers in the central business district, with more than 4 million square feet of commercial space. The Veolia facility also cogenerates electricity. Internationally, Veolia is a French transnational company with four main service and utility areas – water supply and management, waste management, energy and transport services.
About Bridging The Gap
Bridging The Gap is a Kansas-City based non-profit, dedicated to environmental education and action across all social sectors. BTG has 23 years of experience in recycling and waste management programs – from managing and operating recycling centers, to assisting the business community through BTG’s Green Business Network. BTG works with businesses to establish or enhance recycling programs, and helps companies reach their sustainability goals.