SMITHFIELD, Va. – In a first-of-its-kind collaboration between a food manufacturer and waste services provider, Smithfield Foods and Waste Connections have moved Smithfield’s North Carolina-based processing operations closer to its zero-waste-to-landfill goal.

The two companies will create a food production-specific recycling facility designed to process materials generated from the manufacture of food. The project represents Smithfield’s company-wide goal to reduce solid waste to landfills 10 percent by 2020 across all locations. In addition, it will aid the company in its goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 25 percent by 2025 throughout its supply chain.

“At Smithfield, we are the first major protein company to make a significant GHG reduction commitment and are forging innovative new partnerships to help us get there,” said Stewart Leeth, vice president of regulatory affairs and chief sustainability officer for Smithfield. “This project is especially exciting because our employees are banding together across facilities in North Carolina, working as a team to make meaningful progress toward our sustainability goals in the state. From zero-waste-to-landfill to GHG reductions, they are making sure we continue to lead our industry.”

Third-party integrated waste services company, Waste Connections, will increase Smithfield’s savings in rebate value of recycled materials through its specialized Clinton, North Carolina, recycling facility. The investment in the facility from Waste Connections will play a major role in assisting Smithfield’s Tar Heel, Clinton, Wilson, and Kinston plants in reaching goals to eliminate waste to landfills.

“We are proud to partner with a company recognized for its industry leadership in sustainability,” said David Hall, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Waste Connections. “Smithfield’s companywide stewardship allows for great strides to be made to benefit the environment, and we are looking forward to assisting its North Carolina facilities in achieving their zero-waste-to-landfill goal in the near future.”