Toyota Motor Corp. Says it has Succeeded in eliminating all waste from its Georgetown, KY, assembly plant that otherwise would have ended up in a landfill.

Kevin Butt, chief environmental officer, outlines some of the ongoing environmental initiatives Toyota has implemented at its Georgetown facility, which builds the popular Camry, Camry hybrid-electric vehicle, Solara and Avalon.

Butt says one of his first moves to clean up the facility was to reduce the amount of waste discarded by employees. The best way to do that, he says, was to remove all trashcans.

“There are no trashcans at anybody's desk, anywhere, even in the corporate offices,” Butt says, noting all receptacles were recycled.

In their place, recycling bins were set up throughout the facility, including on the plant floor. Workers are instructed to recycle everything from dust caps on engines and transmissions to the rubber bands that secure parts during shipping.

The bins were separated to accommodate different kinds of discarded materials, as “waste segregation” is key to an environmentally friendly facility, Butt says.

Next, attention was turned to the facility's seven cafeterias, which daily feed 7,000 employees and 3,000 contractors.

“That creates a lot of organic and food waste,” he says. “So we have a 4-ton (3.6-t) composter on site, and all organic materials go into that after being segregated, along with grass clippings, leaves, brush and twigs.”

Butt says the compost produced is “very rich” and used to fertilize a 6-acre (2.4-ha) garden on the plant's grounds, where corn, gourds and pumpkins are grown.

Last year, the plant donated some 2,500 lbs. (1,134 kg) of produce from the garden to various homeless charities.