Volkswagen Group of America receives award

Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations LLC in Chattanooga, Tennessee, received the Outstanding Achievement in Solid Waste Management award at the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s Annual Environmental & Energy Awards.

The award recognizes Volkswagen Chattanooga for its efforts in recycling concrete debris created during the expansion of the Chattanooga factory for the midsize SUV, the Volkswagen Atlas, ultimately saving the company more than $800,000.

“We were faced with the possibility of creating tons and tons of waste in addition to the cost of hauling it all to a landfill,” Anthony Lytle, construction planning specialist for Volkswagen Chattanooga, says. “Once we came up with a solution that provided an opportunity to not only recycle the concrete, but also reuse the material on-site, the decision to take this path was easy.”

Throughout the midsize SUV expansion process, nearly 37,000 tons of concrete were excavated from the site, potentially creating more than 18,300 cubic yards of landfill space. The company’s construction and environmental team developed a plan to crush and reuse the waste concrete for on-site infrastructure and expansion efforts.

Concrete debris was hauled to an on-site crusher and processed into various sizes to be used throughout the facility. Seventy-five percent was used as beds for roll compacted concrete (RCC) parking and roadways. The remaining concrete continues to be repurposed for gravel patrol roads, walking paths, landscaping, and erosion control.

The Volkswagen Chattanooga manufacturing facility began production in April 2011. It currently builds the Volkswagen Passat sedan and the Volkswagen Atlas, which went on sale in May of 2017.

Volkswagen Chattanooga employs 3,500 team members. The company says it is the first car factory worldwide with a LEED Platinum certification. It is also certified to international standards for energy management (ISO 50001), environmental management (ISO 14001) and quality management (ISO 9001).