On the eve of Labor Day weekend, 2013, there’ll no doubt be plenty of backyard BBQs and more than a few cold ones being cracked open over the next few days. So, we got beer on our minds!
In the spirit of beer in America and all the hardworking Americans that enjoy sipping some golden suds after a hard day’s work, we got some beer-related news for you. MillerCoors – maker of 71 different flavors like Miller Lite, Coors Light and Blue Moon -- recently announced the biggest brewery in the world is now 100% landfill-free.
Its Golden Brewery in Golden, CO has been working on a plan to reduce waste sent to local landfills since 2011 and in June 2013 were able to achieve 100% landfill-free status. Cheers to them!
MillerCoors has four other breweries across the nation that have already achieved landfill-free status, including the Trenton, OH facility which was the world’s first mega-brewery to achieve zero-waste status.
So how did the world’s largest brewery eliminate 135 tons of waste per day from being sent to landfills?
Pretty simple, really. All recyclables – glass, cardboard, plastic and brewing byproducts – get reused or sent to recycling centers. Organic waste, like food and floor sweepings, are sent to an area waste-to-energy facility to get converted into electricity.
Kelly Harris, longtime MillerCoors employee and driving force of the green movement within the company, stated in a press release, “There's a misperception that sustainable manufacturing is expensive, but employee behaviors are really the key to efficiently and affordably making the change. 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 eco-friendly upgrades to the Golden Brewery include new compactors, bailers, and choppers designed to make shipping out recyclables and other materials easier. It cost about $1 million for the upgrades, which is a drop in the hat for a company as large as MillerCoors.
MillerCoors’ main competitor, Anheuser-Busch, is not to be outdone on the “green” front. Its breweries recycle an average of 99.6% of waste, according to its website.
They’re also focused on reducing water usage and utilizing alternative energy sources, such as solar, wind, hydropower and anaerobic digesters to produce biogas.
Enjoy a cold one this weekend knowing the amber-colored goodness came from a greener place compared to just 3-5 years ago. Oh, and don’t forget to close the sustainability loop by recycling your empties!