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percent. ZWTL certification is awarded to products, facilities and organizations that have achieved a 100-percent diversion rate. Scheuler said Collins’ efforts began years ago, with the company receiving a Green Corporate Citizen Award from the State of Kansas in 2009. “We started looking at what we were throw- ing away as our production started to increase and it became very concerning. We began to measure what we were pulling in roll-off boxes and asking, ‘What can we recycle?’” he said.


“We moved to separate containers for wood, cardboard, plastic, steel. We worked with our suppliers to develop returnable cartons so we quit throwing them away. It’s just a matter of sustaining it now.” Tomas Built Buses is another ZWTL com-


pany, having received its certification before any other school bus manufacturer back in 2011. Te process began in the fall of 2007, when Tomas Built took on the challenge led by its parent company Daimler Trucks North Amer- ica to achieve the zero waste-to-landfill goal. In 2006, the bus manufacturer was sending about 32 tons of waste to the landfill every day.


Te company began to integrate environ- mental management into its core business operations through internal communication of environmental issues to its employees and incorporating lean practices. Other environ- mental accomplishments include creative partnerships to bring solar technology to the community, a 24-percent decrease in energy usage and a 42-percent decrease in its water consumption. At competitor IC Bus, Vice President and


GM Trish Reed said performance certification has been an important component of the com- pany’s core value of continuous improvement to become “better every day.” Tat meant the introduction of Six Sigma in the 1990s and includes a strong focus on Lean Manufacturing today. “Certifications can become the flavor of the month, but when you get it ingrained into your culture, you really turn a corner,” Reed said.


“We ask, ‘Are we there yet?’ Te answer is ‘Never.’ We’re always going to be doing something every day to take care of our customers and the chil- dren who ride our buses and looking for ways to do it better.”


56 School Transportation News • FEBRUARY 2016


Collins Bus incorporates Lean Manufacturing and ISO processes to drive safety and quality at its plant in South Hutchinson, Kansas. The company showcases standard signage and floor markings for employees, using hose reels in work areas to remove potential obstacles and implementing right-sized tool carts to eliminate wasted motion and sustain cleanliness.


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