Mt Pleasant News

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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 21, 2017

How to become landfill-free: MP's West Liberty Foods explains the steps

Jan 21, 2013
Photo by: Trisha Phelps Michele Boney, environmental compliance officer of West Liberty Foods, left, educates area business members on how to become landfill-free businesses as Erin Rothsheimer of WLF’s marketing department looks on.


Mt. Pleasant News

West Liberty Foods has become “landfill-free” and wants to help other businesses to recycle, too.

On Jan. 17, at Two Rivers Bank and Trust, WLF and the Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance held a “Lunch and Learn” for area businesses to educate them on how to become landfill free.

West Liberty Foods now has various recycling bins for employees to take advantage of in order to make sure nothing leaving the plant goes to a landfill. The goal is that everything gets recycled or incinerated.

“The president of our company went to a presentation about being landfill-free given by another company and he came back being inspired and asked me if we could do it, too,” said Michele Boney, environmental compliance officer for West Liberty Foods.

“There is always a possibility,” she said. “It took us a little over a year to get it done.”

Boney suggested that the first step to becoming landfill free is to determine what items are going to a landfill.

“Start off by following your waste to the landfill to better understand the materials you regularly throw away. Take pictures if you need to,” she said.

The second step, Boney recommended, is to get in contact with area waste haulers and vendors and ask them if they have any recycling programs or ideas to reduce waste.

One of the challenges that WLF has encountered was training its employees to recycle their waste instead of throwing everything away.

“Trying to change a culture, you are going to have issues. You are going to have employees who are going to have a hard time making the change. You just need to re-train them,” explained Boney.

After 11 months of making changes, WLF is now completely landfill-free and some of the recycling habits learned at the work place have also carried into employees’ daily lives.

“I find myself sorting my waste in to recycle piles when I am eating lunch. Now it’s just habit,” said Boney.

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