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When General Motors began tackling its waste streams, it first went after its largest source: its 140-plus manufacturing plants around the world.
After getting half of its plants to the point that they send no waste to landfill, the company turned its eye to its other locations, and now all the trash from 10 of its non-manufacturing sites gets reused, recycled or converted to energy through incineration.
The bulk of the waste from those places — offices, engineering, customer care, aftersales and proving grounds — is packaging, said John Bradburn, manager of GM’s waste reduction efforts. But the sites don’t deal with just simple cardboard and plastic.