Two Hershey Plants Achieve Zero-Waste Goal

Two Hershey Plants Achieve Zero-Waste Goal

Chocolate maker says eight facilities have achieved the status through recycling and waste to energy.

October 31, 2013
Recycling Today Staff

The Hershey Co., Hershey, Pa., has announced that two more of its plants have achieved zero-waste-to-landfill (ZWL) status. The company now has six U.S. plants that no longer dispose routine waste into landfills. With the addition of the Y&S Plant in Lancaster, Pa., and the Robinson Plant in Robinson, Ill., Hershey says it has exceeded its goal to convert five plants to ZWL by 2015 well ahead of schedule.

"This achievement reflects Hershey's unwavering commitment to reduce our environmental impact while continuing to manufacture the highest quality confections," says Terence O'Day, senior vice president and chief supply chain officer, The Hershey Co. "Converting plants to ZWL is challenging, but our plant employees have shown how deeply dedicated they are to environmental stewardship. They have worked extremely hard to reach this important milestone."

To achieve ZWL status, Hershey's manufacturing facilities have reduced their overall waste streams and increased recycling rates to approximately 90 percent. All remaining waste is sent to nearby waste-to-energy incinerators, eliminating the need for landfill disposal. These incinerators produce energy, which also reduces overall reliance on fossil fuels.

Hershey now has eight facilities that have achieved ZWL status:

 *  Hazleton Plant (Hazleton, Pa.); 
 *  Reese Plant (Hershey);  
 *  West Hershey Plant (Hershey.);  
 *  Y&S Plant (Lancaster, Pa.);  
 *  Robinson Plant (Robinson, Ill.);  
 *  Stuarts Draft (Stuarts Draft, Va.);  
 *  Hershey's Chocolate World (Hershey); and 
 *  Eastern Distribution Center III (Palmyra, Pa.). 

Hershey says it has been a sustainability leader for decades. Founder Milton Hershey started the company's first recycling center in Hershey in 1937, long before recycling was a common practice. To further reduce its carbon footprint, the company also has added biogas-capturing equipment at four of its U.S. facilities. By using this energy-conversion equipment, the four facilities are less reliant on fossil fuels for energy.

Two sets of solar arrays at facilities in Hershey also contribute to reducing Hershey's environmental footprint. The Hershey solar arrays eliminate more than 200 metric tons of greenhouse gases each year, according to the company. The amount of greenhouse gases eliminated by these arrays is equivalent to taking approximately 50 cars off the road each year.

Hershey says it is continuously advancing its environmental sustainability programs and seeking innovative approaches to reduce waste and the environmental impact at all of its facilities around the world. The company's management encourages employees to continue to look for new solutions for waste management and recycling.