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Waste Repurposing Triggers a Success for Weber

March 16, 2012
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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL—March 12, 2012—As part of an initiative aimed at greater environmental stewardship, Weber Packaging Solutions has launched a new operation that helps convert its former label waste into fuel instead of landfill.

Weber manufactures pressure-sensitive labels for use by both industrial and consumer goods companies. The firm annually produces over 1,500 tons of paper and synthetic waste as a byproduct of its label manufacturing and printing operation inside its 320,000-square-foot facility.

“Like a lot of companies, we’re looking at ways to become a better corporate citizen by reducing our carbon footprint,” said John O’Leary, Weber’s VP of manufacturing. “With all the new waste-handling options that are available today, it’s often possible to repurpose scrap and save on disposal costs at the same time.

Last summer, O’Leary asked Weber facilities manager Matt Zoost to research cost-efficient, more environmentally-friendly methods of disposing of Weber’s label waste. That effort led to Pellet America, Appleton, WI, a company that is able to transform non-recyclable paper and synthetic waste into pellets that are used as an industrial fuel source.

The next challenge for Weber was to determine a reasonable means of collecting its label waste and transporting it 200 miles from its facility to the Pellet America plant.

“We learned about a company named SP Industries that makes a scrap-loading system designed to literally pack paper waste into semi trailers,” Zoost said. “It turned out to be the perfect solution.”

What the system really amounts to is a giant trash compactor that compresses the label waste by mechanically advancing it into a semi-trailer. After a trailer load of compressed label scrap is completely filled, Pellet America picks it up at Weber’s plant and transports it to its own facility.

“We’re on pace to redirect 99 percent of our annual label waste from the landfill, and repurpose it as raw material for fuel pellets,” Zoost added. “And it looks like we’re also going to reduce our waste disposal expenses by nearly 20 percent, and that includes the cost of using semi-trailers to transport the material to Wisconsin.”

In addition, Weber learned what many other companies have yet to discover:  that going ‘green’ doesn’t always have to mean spending more money.

Weber Packaging Solutions (formerly Weber Marking Systems), is a leading worldwide manufacturer and supplier of labels and labeling systems. The company, with world headquarters in Arlington Heights, Illinois, has sales offices and service locations throughout the United States. Weber also has numerous operations in Canada, Australia, Europe and Asia. Additional details on Weber domestic and international capabilities and locations are available at www.weberpackaging.com.

 
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