America's Biggest Brewery Now Produces No Garbage

MillerCoors' Golden, Colo., facility no longer trucks 135 tons a month to landfill

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 4, 2013 10:59 AM CDT

(Newser) – MillerCoors' Golden, Colo., facility has some pretty massive numbers attached to it: It clocks in at 9 million square feet, can produce 22 million barrels of beer a year (that's the equivalent of about 5.5 billion pints), and once generated 135 tons of garbage a month. That last number now stands at ... zero. As of the end of June, the brewer's (and America's) largest facility no longer sends any waste to the landfill, instead reusing or recycling everything, from the core items (spent grain, glass) to the peripheral (cafeteria scraps, floor sweepings), reports CNBC.

It's actually the fifth of MillerCoors' eight US breweries to achieve landfill-free status since 2010, and it took two years to achieve the feat in Golden. How it shakes out: After spending about $1 million on new infrastructure (think low-tech equipment like colored bins), spent grain now goes to feed livestock, things like glass and pallets are recycled, and those floor sweepings are sent to a waste-to-energy facility in Oklahoma, reports NBC News. It's a green effort in more ways than one: The sale of its recyclable material will bring in $1 million a year. The company plans to convert its remaining three breweries to landfill-free status by the end of 2015.

Inside MillerCoors.   (©)
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