Recycle, Yes – Landfill, No

How one teammate seeks ways to cut waste, conserve resources

September 18, 2015 in Environment

For Matt Mercer and his team at the Boeing site in Oklahoma City, an attitude of continuous improvement drives ongoing successes in reducing waste and conserving resources.


Matt Mercer and his team don’t let their successes in reducing waste and conserving resources stop them from always looking ahead at what they can do better.

“It’s a mindset of continuous improvement. When we put our recycling program in place, we thought, ‘Why stop there? Let’s see how we can eliminate all of the waste we send to landfills’,” said Mercer, environment and safety leader at Boeing’s Oklahoma City facility.

The site provides services and support to most of the U.S. military’s large aircraft programs, including Air Force One, the nation’s bombers and legacy tankers. The Boeing Oklahoma workforce is growing rapidly and expects to expand even more over the next two years, Mercer said.

A big part of improving the site’s waste management has been stepping up its recycling program for plastic, aluminum, cardboard, electronic waste and other material. Solid waste that can’t be recycled is sent to a local facility that burns trash to generate clean electricity.

Mercer’s team also is exploring opportunities for saving energy, such as converting older fluorescent lighting to more efficient LED technology. The site is evaluating a major retrofit that would either replace or remove 20,000 light bulbs in 6,000 fixtures. The retrofit’s cost would be recovered with the help of an incentive program from the local utility.

Mercer is proud of what the site’s environmental accomplishments can mean for the local community. “I think the community has embraced us and Boeing has embraced Oklahoma. Improving the site’s environmental performance will help strengthen that relationship,” he said.

To learn more about the many ways that Boeing is building a better planet by improving the environmental performance of its products and services, as well as working together for the benefit of our homes and communities, click here.