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Auto Plants Work For Zero Waste To Landfills

By the spring of next year Ohio's Honda plants will be waste free. The company says eight of its 14 North American plants have already stopped sending waste to landfills. Ron Lietzke is the spokesman for the Honda plant in Marysville. He says the company is saving energy by turning off lights, recycling car parts, and even replacing paper plates with regular dishes in the cafeteria. The Marysville, Anna, East Liberty and Russels Points plants in Ohio will reach the zero-waste goal in April. Lietzke says the green initiatives are in line with Honda's image of meeting consumer needs. "It comes back to a philosophy of being a company that society wants to exist. And this extends also into the environment area to really have a social responsibility to not harm the environment through the use of our products or through the manufacturing of our products," Lietzke says. Industry analyst Kristin Dzikzek at the Center for Automotive Research in Michigan says most auto makers are increasingly conscious of their environmental footprint. Some even advertise how they cut back on waste or green house emissions. But Dzikzek says the trend is more than a marketing and cost-saving strategy. "I don't think most people know or think about how much the vehicle emits before they even drive it one mile. In the life of a vehicle, about a quarter of the emissions take place in the first year due to the manufacturing to make that vehicle. So working on this is a really big deal," Dzikzek says. Dzikzek says Honda does have the greatest implementation of green manufacturing, but she says most auto companies are not far behind.

Jen Monroe, WOSU News.