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The Greening of Trenton's MillerCoors

This might be the only trash can inside the 33 acre MillerCoors building.

Employees and visitors to Trenton, Ohio's MillerCoors Brewery are hard pressed to find a trash can. The reason? The facility is 99.8 percent landfill-free, with the rest burned for energy in Indiana. Soon the plant hopes to be 99.9 percent landfill-free.

Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU
(from left) Todd Washing, Technical Services Manager and Denise Quinn, Plant Manager discuss new sustainability goals.

Plant Manager Denise Quinn says it all began years ago with an employee who had a passion for sustainability.

"He dug into every stream possible" to find a way to recycle as much waste as he could.

Two years ago the plant stopped burning coal and is actively working to reduce water usage.

Todd Washing, the technical services manager, says, "We are very fortunate we sit atop the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer, a great source of cold, clean water and we need that to be successful."

Learn how a mix-proof valve helps recycle water at MillerCoors.

MillerCoors says it used 15 billion fewer gallons of water in 2016 than it did in 2015. Helping with the recycling efforts is a mix-proof valve. Brewing Unit Manager Don Benczarski says, "Essentially, you are able to minimize the footprint of a valve system and minimize the risk of contamination from product to product."

According to Head Brewer Ryan Dincler, "It's really out of the box thinking, new ideas, new technologies." He says it's considered "world class" to use fewer than three barrels of water for every barrel of beer. Right now he's using 2.84.

MillerCoors named the Trenton plant "Most Improved for Energy Usage" in 2016 and second "Most Improved for Water Usage."

The Ohio EPA honored the plant with its gold award for Encouraging Environmental Excellence. The U.S. EPA also recognized MillerCoors. (see below)

With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.