FORT MILL, S.C. – The topic of sustainability has long been a high priority for Continental Tire. Whether developing new technologies like dandelion tires or EcoPlus technology, Continental Tire is a leader in sustainability and their newest tire production facility in Sumter, S.C., is an excellent example of that, the company says.
The Sumter facility recently attained status as a “zero landfill” plant in its first year of production. The term “zero landfill” means 100 percent of the plant’s waste is converted into recycled products, or used for energy, rather than being turned into trash. This waste includes steel, wood, glass, plastic, rubber, paper and other materials. The Continental Sumter Plant works with waste management company HWI Environmental Technologies to properly process and repurpose all waste materials generated in the facility.
“Continental believes in being a strong community partner, and contributing to a cleaner environment is a high priority across our entire corporation,” said Sumter Plant Manager Craig Baartman. “Our goal is to remain a zero landfill plant in partnership with our waste management team at HWI to make a positive, sustainable impact in the beautiful city of Sumter.”
Continental’s Mt. Vernon plant in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, was the first Continental Tire zero landfill plant in the world. HWI Environmental Technologies began working with Mt. Vernon in June of 2004, and at the time, the plant was recycling 38 percent of material generated. HWI and Continental continued to increase the recycling percentages and by March of 2012, the plant was at zero landfill status. Zero landfill was achieved following two years at 95 percent recycling. Today, the Mt. Vernon plant averages 28,000,000 pounds of recycled material per year.
In addition to the zero landfill initiative, Continental focuses on sustainability through conservation of water and energy within tire plants. In the Sumter plant, cross-functional teams monitor water usage, steam leakages and other issues that could waste energy or harm the local environment. The plant also educates employees about how to protect and preserve natural resources in and outside of the workplace and makes donations to the preservation of natural resources, including trail restoration at Poinsett State Park just outside of Sumter.