Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems

Bendix's recycling leads to 92 percent waste diversion rate

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC has achieved a 92 percent waste diversion rate through its ongoing company-wide emphasis on recycling and remanufacturing. With America Recycles Day serving as a reminder of the importance of reducing the environmental impact of its facilities, Bendix continues to work toward its goal of "zero waste to landfill" operations.

America Recycles Day is held every Nov. 15 by the nonprofit Keep America Beautiful organization to promote and celebrate recycling in the United States.

"Less than one-twelfth of our waste now goes to landfills, and Bendix is pleased with the progress we've made in recent years toward reducing that fraction to zero," said Maria Gutierrez, Bendix health, safety, and environmental manager. "We feel we are very close to that goal. Every day, we strive to be environmentally conscious in our management decisions and business strategy. This makes sense for Bendix, because it's the right thing to do and also has a positive financial impact. Just as important, it makes sense for the communities in which we operate and for the collective stewardship of the planet we share."

All Bendix plants have instituted recycling of waste such as paper, cardboard, wood, plastic and metal. In 2011, the company diverted more than 5,400 tons of waste and recycled more than 5,200 tons of material. This year, Bendix has diverted 92 percent of its waste that once would have gone into landfills.

In recent years, Bendix has also strengthened its remanufacturing efforts, launching a business unit focused on the practice in 2011, and expanding it in 2012 with serial production of remanufactured brake shoes at its new Bendix Brake Shoe Remanufacturing Center in Huntington, Ind.

With more than 35 years' experience in remanufacturing compressors, air dryers, valves and more, Bendix has long recognized the environmental benefits of recycling these parts.

Bendix reduces its environmental impact by dismantling products after their initial use, salvaging key components, and reassembling them with salvaged and new components to meet current specifications. This efficient form of recycling reduces the carbon footprint associated with the fabrication of new parts by 80 percent.

In 2011, Bendix remanufactured 300,000 units, recovering more than 70 percent of the material in the original parts, and diverting more than 4,200 tons of material from landfills.

The company has found other recycling channels as well: Bendix sends discarded dessicant from its recycled air dryers to a company that reclaims the waste material for use in producing cement.

"Everyone is familiar with the practice of collecting bottles, cans, and newspapers for recycling," Gutierrez said. "Seeking new and innovative ways to reuse materials is a key part of Bendix's long-term sustainability strategy, and we hope that our practices can serve as examples of change that can be adopted across our industry and across the globe."