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.
Total weight of waste by type and disposal method.