Three of The Hershey Co.’s manufacturing facilities in Pennsylvania have achieved “Zero-Waste-to-Landfill“ (ZWL) status as a result of the company’s ongoing efforts to enhance sustainability through recycling and waste management. Two of the facilities are in its hometown of Hershey, and the third is in Hazleton.
“We are proud of our role as stewards of the environment and of our progress in eliminating waste from our operations,” said Terence O’Day, senior vice president of global operations at Hershey. “We achieved ZWL at these facilities through a rigorous process of eliminating waste, recycling and converting waste to energy. Our employees understand the importance of sustainability across our company and are working together to reach our reduction goals.”
ZWL means that routine manufacturing waste has been eliminated from landfill disposal. The company’s Hazleton plant achieved ZWL status this month. The West Hershey plant became a ZWL facility last October. In addition, the $200 million to $225 million expansion of the West Hershey facility, announced in June 2010, is a ZWL construction project, and the new addition will be ZWL upon completion later this year. In 2010, the Reese plant, also located in Hershey, achieved ZWL status.
These plants recycle approximately 90 percent of the waste generated from operations and the remainder is converted to energy at nearby waste-to-energy incinerators located in Bainbridge and Harrisburg.
The chocolate and candy company’s long history of environmental sustainability programs dates back to 1937 when founder Milton Hershey started the first recycling center in Hershey. Last year, Hershey unveiled two sets of solar arrays at facilities in Hershey that generate an estimated 318 megawatt-hours per year and will eliminate hundreds of metric tons of greenhouse gases each year. In 2009, the company committed to reducing its green house gas emissions by 15 percent by the end of 2011 based on 2008 emission levels and is on track to achieve this goal by the end of the year.