Original Date: 07/25/2005
Revision Date: 09/12/2006
Best Practice : Recycling and Reclamations
Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems’ employees sent letters to senior management requesting an opportunity to recycle. These letters resulted in the formation of successful landfill avoidance program. Led by a Recycling Team that identifies recyclable materials, the Recycling and Reclamations Program currently recycles one million pounds of materials annually.
The recycling program at Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems (NGES) began when employees wrote letters to the corporate vice president requesting an opportunity to implement recycling and other environmentally responsible programs. When senior management agreed to form a recycling team, those employees who had made the request gathered together to make it happen. The newly formed Recycling Team worked with a local recycling broker to identify what materials could be recycled and to purchase collection containers. The team initiated a voluntary program in which all employees could participate. Although segregated paper recycling generated more revenue to fund the program, the team soon learned the advantage of streamlining the program to make participation easier. Mixing all colored paper, publications, and junk mail together saved both collection space and segregation time for employees.
Recycling rules were communicated to the workforce through poster contests, internal communication fliers, team meetings, and other exercises. Company labor fluctuations and attention to production schedules caused problems with expanding the program beyond papers and cardboard. Persistence prevailed, expanding the program to toner cartridge recycling, proprietary shredding, double-sided copying, electronics recycling, and paperless manufacturing.
A web-based SWAP SHOP program makes excess equipment available to different manufacturing areas in the Maryland NGES facilities. Users can offer excess equipment or request needed equipment to use NGES resources more effectively.
The Recycling and Reclamation Team at NGES has achieved recycling of approximately one million pounds of non- hazardous waste annually, with continuing efforts focused on identifying additional waste items that can be recycled.
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