CHICAGO, June 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- MillerCoors today announced that its Golden Brewery is now landfill free. Building on its experience in taking four of its other breweries landfill free, this latest move means the largest brewery in the U.S. eliminated an average of 135 tons of waste monthly that was previously sent to landfill. For the brewing industry, the accomplishment is significant: no other breweries, including small craft or large national, have managed to achieve landfill-free status.
Beginning in 2011, MillerCoors began reducing the municipal waste sent from the Golden Brewery to landfill, complementing process improvements with nearly $1 million in new infrastructure and equipment, including new choppers, bailers and compactors. The brewery beneficially reuses or recycles 100 percent of waste, including all glass, paperboard, plastics, metal and brewing byproducts, such as spent grain. Residual refuse, such as cafeteria waste and floor sweepings, is sent to a waste-to-energy facility and used as an alternative fuel source to generate electricity.
"Environmental stewardship is part of our company DNA, and we challenge ourselves daily to be more sustainable throughout our operations," said MillerCoors CEO Tom Long. "Through our commitment to continuously improving, we've found a way to eliminate trips to the landfill and developed a zero waste model that's scalable to our other facilities."
Longtime MillerCoors brewery employee Kelly Harris was a driving force in the efforts. As a shop floor technician, Harris noticed small process changes could lead to large waste reductions. After conducting research, he developed and implemented a waste-reduction business plan that in 2010 led MillerCoors Trenton, Ohio, brewery to become the company's first landfill-free facility and the world's first zero waste mega-brewery. Three other MillerCoors breweries – Shenandoah, Irwindale, and Eden – have also achieved landfill-free status.
"There's a misperception that sustainable manufacturing is expensive, but employee behaviors are really the key to efficiently and affordably making the change," Harris said. "Working alongside brewery leadership, we developed a way to do things differently and implemented new manufacturing processes at the brewery. We've proven that there's an alternative place for all waste, even at one of the world's largest breweries."
The company is working swiftly to implement similar changes at its other facilities. For more information, visit www.millercoors.com.
MillerCoors brews, markets and sells the MillerCoors portfolio of brands in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Built on a foundation of great beer brands and nearly 300 years of brewing heritage, MillerCoors continues the commitment of its founders to brew the highest quality beers. MillerCoors is the second-largest beer company in America, capturing nearly 30 percent of U.S. beer sales. Led by two of the best-selling beers in the industry, Coors Light and Miller Lite, MillerCoors has a broad portfolio of highly complementary brands across every major industry segment. The company offers a variety of leading craft and import brands, including Blue Moon and Leinenkugel's, through its Tenth and Blake division. MillerCoors operates eight major breweries in the U.S., as well as the Leinenkugel's craft brewery in Chippewa Falls, Wisc., and two microbreweries, the 10th Street Brewery in Milwaukee and the Blue Moon Brewing Company at Coors Field in Denver. MillerCoors insists on building its brands the right way through brewing quality, responsible marketing and environmental and community impact. MillerCoors is a joint venture of SABMiller plc and Molson Coors Brewing Company. Learn more at MillerCoors.com, at facebook.com/MillerCoors or on Twitter through @MillerCoors.