MillerCoors Behind the Beer

3 steps closer to never taking out the trash again

More than half of the trash in the U.S. winds up in a landfill.

That’s 134.3 million tons in 2013 alone.

Which is why we’re proud to announce that the waste we generate at the MillerCoors Milwaukee Brewery and offices is reused or recycled. All of it — down from 65 tons a month.

Milwaukee is our first complete campus to be landfill-free and the seventh of our eight major breweries to hit that goal. (More on our waste reduction efforts here.)

We learned a lot in the process and wanted to share a few tips that can work at home too:

1. Ditch your trash can

In Milwaukee, we got rid of trash cans at employees’ desks so they couldn’t mindlessly throw things away. This eliminated 1,000 bags of trash … per DAY.

2. Learn what can be recycled (it’s probably more than you think)

That yogurt container and sandwich bag you usually throw out? They’re recyclable. “It was just amazing what people threw away,” says Joan Meyer, MillerCoors environmental engineer and the leader of the project.

3. Get creative

Look for new ways to reuse what seems like garbage to you. For example, our breweries send spent yeast from brewing beer to dog food companies because it has lots of nutrients. One man’s trash is another man’s dog’s treasure!

Our top tip for doing this at home? Keep it simple. “The normal mindset is that if it’s not easy, if it’s not convenient, then they’re not going to do it. It’s a missed opportunity,” Meyer says. “Make recycling as easy, simple and convenient as possible.”