Kenworth plant recognized for recycling, waste reduction

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The Kenworth Truck Co. manufacturing plant in Renton, Wash., recently received a 2009 Best Workplace for Recycling and Waste Reduction Award from King County’s Solid Waste Division for Kenworth’s outstanding efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle.

“Kenworth is honored to receive this prestigious King County environmental award,” says Marilyn Santangelo, assistant general manager for operations for the Kirkland, Wash.-based truck maker. “The Kenworth Renton plant is committed to waste reduction, conserving natural resources and protecting the environment.”

The plant’s latest key initiatives include implementation of an onsite vehicle no-idle policy, and establishment of a “Zero Waste to Landfill” goal. To date, Kenworth-Renton’s recycling efforts have resulted in nearly 80 percent of all material being diverted away from landfills, according to the company; the success is attributed to the strategic positioning of recycle bins throughout the plant, use of returnable shipping containers, reduction in packaging material, and segregation of waste streams. Kenworth-Renton also implemented food waste composting in its cafeteria, and sends waste to Cedar Grove Composting in Renton for recycling into usable compost.

“This award recognizes the diligent efforts of employees to reduce, reuse and recycle,” says Reid Nabarrete, Kenworth-Renton plant manager. “Our environmental program is of special importance, and it is especially gratifying to receive this award for our significant accomplishments.”

This past spring, the Kenworth plant in Renton was honored by the King County Industrial Waste Program with the county’s Commitment-to-Compliance Award for five consecutive years of outstanding compliance with the plant’s industrial wastewater discharge permit. It marked the plant’s second consecutive Commitment-to-Compliance award, which represents 10 consecutive years of no wastewater violations of any kind covering discharge, permit, ordinance, reporting, self-monitoring and King County monitoring.

Kenworth’s plants in Renton and Chillicothe, Ohio, both have earned ISO 14001:2004 certification for effective environmental management systems established to help build Class 8 trucks in an environmentally sustainable manner. Kenworth’s medium-duty products are produced at the Paccar manufacturing facility in Ste. Therese, Que., which also holds ISO 14001:2004 status.