Environmental Issues

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Gulfstream Recycles More than 1.2 Million Pounds of Waste

August 25, 2011

Since late 2010, the Gulfstream Aerospace plant in Savannah, GA has recycled more than 1.2 million pounds of workplace waste, including wood, paper, metal, plastic and cardboard. Although the company recycled some industrial waste before, much of the ongoing manufacturing waste had been trucked to various Georgia landfills.

Gulfstream Aerospace, a subsidiary of General Dynamics, makes a variety of technologically advanced business jets including its flagship, the Gulfstream G550®. It employs more than 10,000 people.

"We are now capturing and recycling 41 percent of our municipal solid waste," said Heidi Fedak of Gulfstream Aerospace Communications. "Ultimately, we'd like to see that number at 100 percent." She said single-stream recycling was introduced at the Savannah and Brunswick, Georgia plants in February, 2011, and will be expanded to all ten of the company's plants nationwide by 2012.

Gulfstream Facilities and Services Director Brooks Clark credited plant employees for the million-plus pounds of recovered waste to date. "They have been extremely diligent about recycling," she said. "We encourage employees to bring in their recyclables from home and place them in our specially designated receptacles."

Fedak said Gulfstream has also replaced Styrofoam drink cups and other containers in all company cafeterias with biodegradable cups. Styrofoam takes an estimated 500 years to degrade in landfills.

Fedak added that the company is also in sync with the environmental goals set by two major general aviation industry groups last year, raising fuel efficiency of business jets by two percent per year until 2050 and cutting total carbon dioxide emissions in half. Those goals were set through the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and the International Business Aviation Council.

PHOTO: Gulfstream Aerospace Facilities and Services Director Brooks Clark (front, with cardboard box) and members of the company committee who created the recycling plan pose with a few of the blue recycling barrels used in the new "single-stream" recycling effort. So far, some 1.2 million pounds of industrial waste have been recovered.