MillerCoors decreases carbon footprint - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

MillerCoors decreases carbon footprint

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By Tayleigh Davis - bio | email | twitter

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Often we think of big industries as big polluters. One of the nation's major beer manufactures in Albany is working to change that image.

The MillerCoors plant provides 240 million bottles of beer throughout the Southeast region. It has an extensive recycling program that includes cans, cardboard, water, plastic and more.

As machines mix, fill, pack and load thousands of containers each day, one thought brews in the back of Environmental Health Safety Specialist Dave Dixon's mind. Conserve.

"There's a great responsibility that goes along with that," said Dixon. "We try to save as much water and recycle as many resources as we can."

The plant recycles 943 million gallons of water each year. Water not used is drained and reprocessed. 40% of cardboard is also made of recycled products.

It doesn't stop there. Grain is also reused. About 118 tons not needed for brewing is shipped to livestock farmers within a 150 mile radius of Albany.

"That grain has protein and sugar which is beneficial as a grain supplement," Dixon noted.

Inside the recycling center, a machine crushes and packs glass and aluminum. After the cans are packed into bales, they're shipped off to be melted into new products. This is the first year Dixon has shipped them off in bales which is more cost affective. 50% of MillerCoors cans are made from recycled aluminum. 

"Some people say recycling doesn't pay but it is quite profitable for us to use these products again because people want them and they pay good money for them," Dixon added.

Dixon sets aside boxes of other materials to recycle, including stretch films, wood, paper, Tyvek protective suites and different varieties and colors of plastic.

As production continues around the clock,  so does MillerCoors' goal to reduce it's carbon footprint.

The plant began recycling water in 1979. Over the past 30 years it has increased its efficiency. It's currently working on a solar panel roof to make the factory more energy efficient.

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