Volvo’s New River Valley assembly plant in Dublin, Va. has achieved zero landfill status at its truck manufacturing operations. Waste generated by the facility, which manufactures all Volvo trucks sold in North America, is now recycled, composted or converted to electricity.

The 1.6 million square-foot heavy-duty truck assembly plant is one of the Volvo Group’s largest manufacturing facilities in the world, and the company’s first in North America to achieve zero landfill status.
NRV’s journey began in 2003 by first identifying and evaluating all solid and liquid waste streams within the plant. Once identified, the plant’s environmental team introduced a framework to better coordinate recycling efforts and began expanding reuse, recycling and composting opportunities.

Intensive evaluation of materials flow and work with parts and raw materials vendors resulted in a transition from cardboard boxes to reusable shipping containers and the elimination of styrofoam and foam rubber from parts packaging.

NRV also changed its paint process to capture, reconstitute and reuse solvents typically used to flush paint lines, and utilize paint sludge to help power a cement kiln. Waste reduction efforts also extend to NRV’s on-site cafeteria, where all food waste, utensils, cups and containers are compostable.

Based on current figures, the energy content of the waste NRV is keeping out of landfills each year equates to:

  • Conserving the amount of energy required for 604 households annually, or
  • Conserving 9,348 barrels of oil, or
  • Conserving 434,291 gallons of gasoline, or
  • Saving 14,509 mwh of electricity.