Case Studies

These case studies illustrate how Alcoa is acting upon its commitment to sustainable development throughout the world. We are pleased with this progress, but look forward to achieving even more.

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Shredder at the Materials Reclamation Center

Loading waste into the shredder at the materials reclamation center.


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Davenport Works Reduces Landfilled Waste by 66%


An onsite materials reclamation facility and the reuse of non-recyclable industrial waste as an alternative fuel has helped Alcoa’s Davenport Works in Iowa, USA, reduce the amount of waste it sends to the landfill annually by 66% since 2005.


Davenport Works, which produces aerospace and automotive products, is striving to achieve Alcoa’s global goal of zero waste to landfill by 2030. By the end of 2014, the facility is expected to exceed the global interim 2020 goal of a 75% reduction in landfilled waste from a 2005 baseline.


Waste reduction starts on the plant floor, where employees collect all industrial recyclables and trash. This includes wood, paper, plastic, cardboard, oily absorbent material, wastewater filter cake, filter paper, scrap metal, and more. Yard waste is also collected and composted.


The comingled waste goes to the onsite contractor-operated 929-square-meter (10,000-square-foot) materials reclamation center to be sorted manually and then sent to third-party recyclers. Industrial trash that is not recyclable is shredded at the facility and provided to a nearby cement kiln to be used as an alternative fuel. Wastewater filter cake is also used as a raw material in the manufacture of Portland cement, further reducing landfilled amounts.


In 2005, the facility sent approximately 5,200 metric tons of waste to the landfill. Since the onsite materials reclamation center opened in late 2012, that amount has declined to around 1,770 metric tons annually—a 66% reduction. Davenport Works and the reclamation center continue to improve their processes and are focused on finding ways to recycle or reuse the remaining 34% of waste.