Need to Know

Union Worker Helps MillerCoors Breweries Achieve Zero Waste

Kelly Harris' waste diversion plan helped eight of MillerCoors' major breweries earn landfill-free verification from NSF International in 2016.

Kelly Harris, member of United Auto Workers Local 2308 and employee of the MillerCoors Trenton Brewery, discovered in 1997 that MillerCoors had a sustainability goal of reducing what it put in landfills by 15 percent in five years. And after looking through the company’s dumpsters, Harris saw an opportunity to reduce a lot more than 15 percent of waste generated at the company’s facilities.

Harris approached the union about his waste reduction ideas, and the union worked with the company to get approval to move forward with a more aggressive plan. That plan, which reduced the company’s waste in its packaging department by 15 percent in just 30 days, helped eight of MillerCoors' major breweries to earn landfill-free verification from the global nonprofit public health organization NSF International through its sustainability division in 2016, making it the first beverage company to have all of its major breweries verified as landfill-free by NSF International. has more information:

It all started with a long look at the company trash.

The year was 1997 and MillerCoors Trenton Brewery technician Kelly Harris had just read a sustainability report from his company that said the organization wanted to reduce what it put in landfills by 15% over the next five years.

“I looked at what was in the dumpster on the way to the compactor and then to the landfill, and realized pretty much everything in there was recyclable,” said Harris, 51.

“I knew we could do better — but we needed a plan.”

Read the full story here.

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