Waste Free, a Crystal Filtration subsidiary, reclaimed 480 filters and diverted 156,000 pounds of waste from landfills in the first five months of 2010 alone. Together with Crystal Filtration, Waste Free helped General Motor’s (GM) Flint South plant to become GM’s first powertrain manufacturing facility to be landfill free.

John Bradburn, an environmental engineer in General Motors' Worldwide Facilities Group, said: “Waste Free gives plants such as ours a more sustainable solution. Waste Free’s process allows us to reduce, reuse and recycle, which are key tenets of environmental sustainability and part of GM’s commitment to being a responsible corporate citizen.”

Waste Free captures approximately two to five gallons of entrapped coolant liquids from each shipment and the company returns that liquid in tote bins, to a company which specializes in supplying the liquid back to companies, such as GM, for continued use. ‘Loose’ metal, typically aluminium, is removed and sold to metal dealers for melting into new aluminum coils. Using customized machinery and a patent pending process, the used filter is then further processed to create new raw materials for the cement and steel industries; the unremovable powdered metal embedded aluminum or iron fines become ingredients in the cement or steel coil.

Minus the returned coolant liquids and brushed-off metal chips, out of the 156,000 pounds of used filters Waste Free processed in the first five months of 2010, approximately 125,000 pounds of new raw materials were created for these new industrial processes. Waste Free meticulously tracks all materials from the point of receipt to final disposition to provide a clear chain of custody.