InterGroup International introduces Landfill-free in Three program

Program sets goals to bring flexible packaging converters and printers to landfill-free status in three years.

February 4, 2014
Recycling Today Staff
Municipal / IC&I Plastics

Cleveland-based InterGroup International Ltd., the flexible packaging and multilayer film recycler, has announced a program to help companies advance their “landfill-free” initiatives.

The Landfill-free in Three program sets targeted goals to bring flexible packaging converters and printers to landfill-free status within three years, according to InterGroup.

InterGroup International CEO Neil Gloger says, “Many companies have a sustainability goal or vision. It is good for everyone. Without a plan though, it is only a wish. What InterGroup does is turn this dream into a measurable reality.”

Gloger says InterGroup’s Landfill-free in Three brings all of a company’s stakeholders—brand owners; corporate management’ operations; finance; environmental, health and safety; and production staff—together to establish a baseline before implementing a plan designed to change behavior and report measurable results.

He says, “Working with a converter based in the Fox Valley in northeast Wisconsin, we were able, within 15 months, to bring them from sending three to four roll-off dumpsters per week to the landfill to only two in all of 2013.” Gloger adds, “The plant could not believe how much of what was going to the landfill could be recovered for value, and, frankly, we were surprised too.”

In another instance, for a convertor based in the mid-South, InterGroup diverted 2.5 million pounds per month from landfill. “That plant is not quite landfill free,” Gloger says. “We’ve been working with them for 30 months, and due to the sheer volume, we’ve gone one stream at a time but are well on track to hit our goal within the next six months.

“We’re asking people to change their behavior, to do something different, to get out of their comfort zone. The program can be sabotaged if buy-in is not achieved,” he says.

In some cases, there is a net cost to going landfill-free, InterGroup notes.

“Market conditions and mix of material have a big impact on value generation,” Gloger says. In certain instances, brand owners demand secure destruction of their packaging or the collection of material results in a commingled state that cannot be recovered for value. “We have resources to keep this material out of landfill,’ Gloger says, “but there is a cost.”

InterGroup provides an online dashboard to track waste and recyclables throughout a client’s locations. “This level of granularity is key to our approach,” Gloger says. “We believe it will not only help companies in their landfill-free scorecard reporting, but will also cause a higher level of efficiency within the plant.”

Founded in 2006, InterGroup International buys, reprocesses and sells more than 16 million pounds per month of postindustrial material.