The numbers tell the story.
Monsanto’s St. Louis headquarters sites – four major locations in suburban St. Louis – have had programs in place for a number of years to recycle waste materials. These materials come from offices, research laboratories, and facility management areas.
From offices, programs include such things as single-stream desk side pick-up, which is sorted off-site to maximize recycled office material volumes; paper recycling; aluminum can and plastic bottle recycling; and recycling of compostable materials.
From laboratories, there is significant recycling of glass; plastics; solvents; plant/seed wastes; and general non-hazardous/sanitary lab trash, which is sent to a waste-to-energy program.
Materials recycled from facilities management activities include cardboard; wooden pallets; electronics & appliances; scrap metals; light bulbs; batteries; and paint.
Two recent recycling success stories highlight the progress being made.
A composting program was developed and implemented at one of the two largest St. Louis sites, diverting food scraps, greenhouse waste and restroom hand towels. It resulted in nearly 460,000 pounds (230 tons) of landfill avoidance annually. A similar program is currently being planned for implementation at a second major site.
A second success has been an initiative to divert appropriate laboratory wastes into a Waste-to-Energy program. These materials are now incinerated at a facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, with energy recovery utilized for steam production. This has resulted in more 350,000 pounds (175 tons) of landfill avoidance annually, and volumes diverted into this program continue to increase.
All of the St, Louis sites’ recycle streams combined add up to more than 2.8 million pounds (1,400 tons) annually, with an overall landfill diversion rate of nearly 72 percent.
A site waste minimization and recycling team is actively working on continuous program improvements to maximize potential recycle volumes, with the ultimate goal being zero-waste-to-landfill.