Thomas Built Buses says it has become the first school bus manufacturer to achieve Zero-Waste-to-Landfill operations, which means that everything received or produced by the company is used, reused, recycled or sold, and nothing is sent to the landfill.
Using the company’s Truck Operating System (TOS) continuous improvement program, Thomas employee teams identified the best options for reducing waste and recycling each material, whether reusing cartons for shipping, reclaiming solvent, working with supplier partners to reduce packaging or turning waste into energy.
“We carted our last load to the landfill in December and reopened as a Zero-Waste-to-Landfill company in January. We are delighted to be starting the new year with a literal ‘clean slate’,” said Kelley Platt, president and CEO of Thomas Built Buses, a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC (DTNA).
The Zero-Waste-to-Landfill goal was initiated by Daimler AG to reduce the carbon footprint of manufacturing facilities under the Daimler umbrella. Today, Thomas Built Buses joins an elite group of landfill-free manufacturing facilities in the United States.
“We are proud to have Thomas as part of the Daimler Trucks North America family,” said Roger Nielsen, chief operating officer of DTNA. “The journey to and achievement of Zero-Waste-to-Landfill is just one example of Thomas Built’s commitment to sustainability. With a system of continuous improvement, Thomas Built is shaping the future of school bus transportation through Clean Drive Technologies and innovations that contribute to advances in safety, technology and environmental stewardship.”
Every Thomas employee had a hand in realizing this goal, and from 2008 to 2010, the company nearly doubled its recycling of wood and nearly tripled its paper recycling. During the same time frame, Thomas Built has focused on reducing water consumption and decreasing its energy use overall.