Zero Waste to Landfill in Starkville

Southwire strives to conserve resources and we view conservation as an important element of our sustainability vision. When we established our original sustainability goals in 2007, we set out to achieve zero waste to landfill at our facilities by 2017. At the Southwire Starkville Plant and neighboring Power Cable Customer Service Center (PCCSC) in Starkville, Mississippi, this vision inspired the slogan “Landfill Free by 2017.” In Starkville, the Growing Green Team emerged from the Waste Minimization Team to not only reduce waste, but also to better reduce, reuse, recycle. In 2011, the team identified scrap wood as a major contributor to the landfill and forged synergistic partnerships with suppliers for better reuse of wooden reels and pallets; additionally, Southwire engaged a reliable processor to grind scrap wood for use as boiler fuel.

During 2012, Southwire increased emphasis on educating employees to better sort materials and, thus, increase their recyclability. The array of products made and shipped from Starkville generates a variety of plastics and other materials to recycle. Reuse is preferred over waste-to-energy (WTE) as a landfill avoidance method, and Starkville emphasized reducing landfill waste to control the cost of WTE as well as good stewardship of resources. Employees made great efforts to properly sort and recycle and, as efforts to divert material to the landfill increased, our motto transitioned to “Zero Landfill by 2015.” After being poised for months to “flip the WTE switch,” Starkville achieved Zero Landfill status at the end of 2013 and maintained this status through 2014, well ahead of goal.

In 2013, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) recognized the Southwire Starkville Plant and PCCSC as enHance (Envision Heightened Awareness Nurturing Conservation & Environmental Excellence) Stewards, for progress made in recycling and reducing waste while maintaining compliance and production growth. The Mississippi Recycling Coalition honored the Southwire Starkville Plant and PCCSC with the Environmental Hero Award as the Business and Industry Recycler of the Year 2014. Our vision is far reaching to continuously improve our stewardship of air, soil and water resources to better serve our stakeholders and our planet.