Waste

Norfolk Southern has recycled many industrial process railroad materials for years, such as track crossties, waste oil, and scrap metals. Now, we are focusing efforts on rail yard operations to get more of the smaller, “every day” items tossed into recycling bins instead of being hauled away to landfills.

Landfill diversion and “right sizing” are the focus of waste initiative
To reduce costs and improve the way we manage waste at our yards and terminals, we have begun waste-stream audits of facilities systemwide. The aim is to introduce single-stream recycling at facilities to ensure that items such as plastic and glass bottles, cardboard, and paper do not end up in landfills.

All of the recyclables would be transported to recycling facilities, where they would be sorted for use in various recycled products. Because our waste disposal costs are based on tonnage transported to landfills, we can save money by keeping recyclables out of trash bins.

Single-stream recycling is the use of a single bin to collect all items that are recyclable, rather than using separate bins for each type of item. That makes it easier on employees to recycle, a key to successful recycling programs.

The audit will also evaluate the size and number of trash containers at yard facilities and the number of times those containers are emptied. The purpose is to lower our operating costs by “right sizing” the waste collection process, using smaller trash containers, and having fewer trash pickups where appropriate, combined with improved access to recycling containers.

Recycling Railroad Materials Employee recycling initiatives Hazardous waste management
EN22

Total weight of waste by type and disposal method.

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sustainability in action:

Creative thinking reduces energy use – and costs

Through our InnovatioNS program, Norfolk Southern encourages employees to look for ways to make their work safer, more efficient, and more cost effective. Brian Thomas’ ingenuity has saved the company money and contributed to its sustainability efforts. read more >

sustainability in action:

Committed to a greener workplace

Employees at Norfolk Southern have embraced the railroad’s sustainability efforts. At many locations across the system, employees such as Emily Hunter have taken the initiative to launch recycling and other green initiatives. read more >

sustainability in action:

A Norfolk Southern ‘River Star’

Ray Jones, a 32-year railroader, is committed to helping Norfolk Southern meet its pledge to be a good corporate neighbor and environmental steward. read more >

Creative thinking reduces energy use – and costs

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Committed to a greener workplace

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A Norfolk Southern ‘River Star’

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See all of our sustainability in action case studies

sustainability in action:

Keeping locomotives moving down the track

Norfolk Southern is continually looking for ways to increase the efficiency and productivity of operations. Devina Miller has played a key role in a Mechanical Department initiative dubbed Mission Critical. read more >

Keeping locomotives moving down the track

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See all of our sustainability in action case studies

sustainability in action:

A little effort, a lot of food for those in need

To strengthen the communities our railroad serves, Norfolk Southern promotes and supports employee volunteerism. Many employees, like Amanda Carpenter, volunteer their time, treasure, and talents to build community connections. read more >

sustainability in action:

Building community partnerships

Norfolk Southern strives to be a good corporate citizen. The railroad routinely partners with local, state, and federal government officials on projects that benefit communities and the country. Employees such as Ed Sites and David Dize are the ones who make these partnerships work. read more >

sustainability in action:

In pursuit of a dream

Norfolk Southern ensures that employees have ample opportunities to develop their skills and advance their careers. Jerome Perry is taking advantage of an NS program to further his education. read more >

sustainability in action:

Where good health meets good deeds

As part of its employee wellness program, dubbed WellNS, Norfolk Southern in 2011 introduced Power Train, an initiative that combines physical fitness and charitable giving. Misty Braden organized a Power Train team in Knoxville to help fund breast cancer research after a colleague was diagnosed with the disease. read more >

sustainability in action:

Partnering for safety

Safely operating our railroad is Norfolk Southern’s No. 1 priority. In addition to efforts to keep our employees safe on the job, we partner with communities in various ways to promote public safety. Employees Richard Vaughan and Greg Valentine demonstrate that commitment. read more >

A little effort, a lot of food for those in need

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Building community partnerships

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In pursuit of a dream

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Where good health meets good deeds

>

Partnering for safety

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See all of our sustainability in action case studies