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Honda Cuts Waste at 10 North American Plants to ‘Absolute’ Zero

Honda Motor Co. said 10 of its North American plants now send no waste to landfills and four others in the region cut scrap and trash to “virtually” nothing as the carmaker seeks to curb manufacturing-related pollution.

Honda, which claimed in 2001 that its Alabama auto-assembly plant was first in the U.S. to send no trash to landfills, aims to lead the industry in waste reduction, Ed Miller, a spokesman for the Tokyo-based carmaker, said in a telephone interview. The company isn’t aware of a competitor that’s achieved a higher level, he said.

“We now have 10 of 14 facilities that are absolute zero, and for the four that still have some there are extenuating circumstances,” said Miller, who is based in Detroit.

Those include a lack of recycling options for cafeteria waste at Honda’s Mexican motorcycle and auto plant, and a byproduct material from painting aluminum hoods at its Ohio auto plants that can’t be recycled under U.S. rules, Miller said.

Honda, Japan’s third-largest automaker, in 2010 built more than 80 percent of cars and light trucks it sold in the U.S. at North American plants, the highest proportion among Asian and European-based companies. Honda’s U.S. headquarters are in Torrance, California.

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