iSpring Associates - Project Case Studies

Recycling Sustainable Manufacturing Waste Stream Analysis in the Beverage Industry


A major food and beverage manufacturer wanted to identify opportunities to improve recycling at their facility and save money in waste hauling and landfill fees while lowering their environmental impact.

Project Description

In the Spring of 2011, iSpring collaborated with Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center to complete a waste stream analysis at the manufacturer's Lehigh Valley facility. The team mapped the current waste-disposal process, determined the composition of the manufacturer’s waste stream, developed alternatives to increase the overall diversion rate of materials from the landfill, analyzed waste hauling records, and presented the financial impact of increased recycling.

To determine the composition of the waste stream, the team analyzed production data and performed a waste audit, which consisted of several targeted waste sorts at the facility. The waste audit assessed the types of materials present in the waste stream, as well as the quantities (by weight) of these materials. Through an analysis of the current waste billing structure, as well as conversations with the manufacturer’s recycling vendor about the current rebates for recycled materials, the team performed a financial analysis based on the waste audit findings to determine the net financial impact of diverting all recyclable materials from the facility’s waste stream.


Ultimately, the project team recommended waste process improvements that would:

The team also recommended implementing improvements gradually and undertaking an aggressive employee engagement and education campaign to ensure the success of the new recycling program.


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