As General Motors’ Manager of Waste Reduction Efforts, John Bradburn examines “resources that are out of place” (what most people would call “waste”) and tries to manage them in a better way. Across the globe, GM has 107 different operations that operate landfill-free. GM recycles 2.5 million tons of materials on average every year. End-on-end, these materials could wrap around the globe at the equator — truly an astounding feat. Bradburn notes that these recycled resources present a significant amount of revenue, but, perhaps surprisingly, that is not GM’s end goal. “We average around $1 billion a year revenue from those various [recycled] commodities,” Bradburn says. “Our long-term goal is to generate zero revenue. The reason for that is because we would consume the materials within the process — that’s the goal. All of our products that we use in our processes are utilized in that process, therefore [GM can] become more efficient.”

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