Label maker redirects 99% of label waste into fuel pellets

2 Min Read
Label maker redirects 99% of label waste into fuel pellets


Weber Fuel Pellets

As part of an initiative aimed at greater environmental stewardship, Weber Packaging Solutions has launched a new operation that helps convert its former label waste into fuel instead of landfill fodder.


Weber makes pressure-sensitive labels for use by both industrial and consumer goods companies. The firm annually produces more than 1,500 tons of paper and synthetic waste as a byproduct of its label manufacturing and printing operation inside its 320,000-sq-ft facility.


"Like a lot of companies, we're looking at ways to become a better corporate citizen by reducing our carbon footprint," says John O'Leary, Weber's vp of manufacturing. "With all the new waste-handling options that are available today, it's often possible to repurpose scrap and save on disposal costs at the same time.



Weber label waste compactor

Mid-2011, O'Leary asked Weber facilities manager Matt Zoost to research cost-efficient, more environmentally-friendly methods of disposing of Weber's label waste. That effort led to Pellet America, Appleton, WI, a company that is able to transform non-recyclable paper and synthetic waste into pellets that are used as an industrial fuel source.


The next challenge for Weber was to determine a reasonable means of collecting its label waste and transporting it 200 miles to the Pellet America plant.


"We learned about a company named SP Industries that makes a scrap-loading system designed to literally pack paper waste into semi trailers," Zoost says. "It turned out to be the perfect solution."



Weber outside trailer

What the system really amounts to is a giant trash compactor that compresses the label waste by mechanically advancing it into a semi-trailer. After a trailer load of compressed label scrap is completely filled, Pellet America picks it up at Weber's plant and transports it to its own facility.

"We're on pace to redirect 99 percent of our annual label waste from the landfill, and repurpose it as raw material for fuel pellets," Zoost adds. "And it looks like we're also going to reduce our waste disposal expenses by nearly 20 percent, and that includes the cost of using semi-trailers to transport the material to Wisconsin."


In addition, Weber has learned that going "green" doesn't always have to mean spending more money.

Source: Weber Packaging Solutions Inc.


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