Caterpillar details work to reduce waste at Georgia plant

Updated Aug 20, 2013

Last week, Caterpillar invited 50 local business leaders to its new small bulldozers and mini hydraulic excavator plant in Athens, Georgia to take in a presentation on how the company is working to reduce waste and its carbon footprint.

“Caterpillar has a vision for 2020 to be zero waste to landfill, so we just wanted to present that, introduce our facility and give folks in the Athens community the opportunity to see what we’re doing here,” Caterpillar Security Manager Tim Grubb told the Athens Banner-Herald.

A method detailed during the presentation is Caterpillar’s transition from liquid paint to powder. A powder coating does not require a solvent to keep binder and filler in a liquid form, which allows Cat to avoid “releasing any hazardous materials into the environment” during the manufacturing process, Grubb said.

Grubb told the paper that the company is about 11 percent ahead of its goal for zero waste by 2012. Out of the company’s 180 plants, 154 have reached and are sustaining a 90-percent waste reduction rate.

Beyond an environmental benefit, the moves also save the company money. The paper found that on “, Caterpillar reached the 100-percent recycling mark at two UK-based facilities in December 2010 and saved the company $200,000 during the process.”

“We want to prevent waste. We do a lot with our packaging and things that come into the plant. We aren’t generating a lot of foam or peanuts and those types of things,” Grubb said.