DMI Companies’ main manufacturing facility in Monongahela, Pennsylvania, is now classified as a zero waste to landfill facility. The company says it is the first manufacturing facility in the state of Pennsylvania to achieve the TRUE Silver zero waste to landfill certification from Green Business Certification Inc.
Landfill waste diversion through the TRUE system is a whole systems approach aimed at changing how materials flow through society, and promotes processes that consider the entire lifecycle of products used within a facility with an end goal of zero waste. The idea of becoming a zero waste facility started for DMI in 2011 and after years of work led by Lisa Pavan, sustainability and environmental compliance manager for the company.
“We started with a goal that if something could not be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled, or composted, then it should be restricted, re-designed, or removed from our production pipeline,” said Pavan. “Most of our production lines can go through many different metal alloys and other materials on a daily basis, so we saw initial hurdles eliminating recycling contamination. However, we worked hard to overcome those hurdles through training, audits, and employee buy in from the factory floor all the way to the corporate office.”
In 2018, DMI diverted 94.49% of their waste from incineration/landfill through recycle, reuse, and reduction programs and plans to improve that diversion rate by 1% annually. DMI sought out to obtain 38 credits on the TRUE Silver scale, but exceeded that by receiving 41 out of the maximum 45 on March 15, 2019. TRUE-certified projects are environmentally responsible and achieve a minimum of 90% waste diversion. The program aims to help facilities turn waste into savings, cut greenhouse gas emissions, manage risk, reinvest resources, and create jobs.
“We focus on sustainability in our corporate strategy through innovative products, operations, and employee engagement. We were introduced to this model many years ago and have continually embraced the concept,” said Raymond Yeager, president and CEO of DMI. “It’s time to bring it back to the forefront of our discerning employees at DMI. We commit ourselves to integrating sustainability as a core value for DMI; protecting the health and well-being of our employees and our communities. We actively participate in every community in which we operate. We want these communities to thrive.”