There's No Task Too Big: GP Cedar Springs Recycles, Repurposes 300,000 Pounds of Massive Conveyor Belts

Nov 17, 2022 8:45 AM ET

CEDAR SPRINGS, Ga., November 17, 2022 /3BL Media/ - When we talk about Georgia-Pacific’s commitment to being a good custodian of the environment, this story is a perfect example of that.

The environmental team at our Cedar Springs Pulp and Paper mill in Cedar Springs, Georgia, recently had a huge task on their hands, quite literally.

They needed to figure out what to do with over fifty massive rolls of old conveyor belts that had accumulated in its scrap yard. And these things aren't small. They’re over one hundred feet long and at least 4000 to 6000 pounds each! 

“Removing the old belts became a priority for us,” says Jacob Anaya, an environmental waste engineer. “We knew it had to be done in order to free up more space at our mill for new equipment and help us to better track waste to ensure it was properly disposed of.”

So, they got to work.

Anaya collaborated with the team to develop an environmentally friendly solution, and at the suggestion of Santhiego Heard, maintenance area leader and superintendent, the mill partnered with International Conveyor Belt Systems (ICBS), a company with locations across the southern part of the United States. Once the planning was complete, ICBS started hauling away the old belts, one truckload at a time, breaking down the rubber and turning it into reusable eco-friendly material instead of disposing of them in a landfill.

This was no easy job!

The conveyor belt rolls were so long and heavy that only about eight could fit on a truck bed at a time, requiring several roundtrips and weeks of work. Around 300,000 pounds of rubber was eventually shredded from the belts and then turned into mulch for things like playground areas, horse stalls, and driveways. 

“At Cedar Springs, we continuously work towards creating sustainable outcomes and focus on eliminating waste while minimizing our impact on the environment,” says Hillery Kelly, environmental manager at Cedar Springs. “This project demonstrates how Cedar Springs strives to be the best community partner; it’s what being a good steward of the environment is all about.”

This type of commitment at Cedar Springs won’t end here. Anaya says this will be something the team will continue to do in the future, “Reducing waste isn’t just an eco-friendly move; it’s a critical part of Georgia-Pacific’s mission.”

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