Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Achieves Environmental Milestone

Oxford, N.C., facility 100% landfill free

Jamie Morgan

Jamie Morgan

OXFORD, N.C. -- Jamie Morgan and his co-workers at Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co.'s (SFNTC) manufacturing facility in Oxford, N.C., have achieved a major goal. In Oct. 2013, they reached the point where nothing gets sent to the landfill from their facility, which manufactures about four billion Natural American Spirit cigarettes each year.

Morgan said the company's ongoing efforts have made the facility "a world-class environmentally friendly manufacturing facility."

"Coordinating the effort to become a 100% landfill-free facility is probably the biggest accomplishment of my career," said Morgan, the plant's senior manager of environmental health and safety. "It's a huge milestone that's taken a lot of time, effort and ingenuity by a lot of people here in North Carolina and at our headquarters in New Mexico, and we're all very proud that we finally made it happen."

Morgan said that making the plant a zero-waste-to-landfill facility helps protect the environment and further demonstrates SFNTC's commitment to environmental sustainability, for which it has long been recognized and highly regarded. "Operating in a manner that protects the environment is important to us, and it's important to our consumers, who are environmentally conscious about who makes the products they purchase," he said.

"We've been recycling easily recycled materials--like soft-drink cans, plastic bottles, cardboard and paper--ever since the plant opened in 1999," Morgan said. "But it's taken us several years to find ways to recycle the waste materials that aren't as commonly recycled. We moved a big step forward several years ago when we began collecting tobacco dust and recycling it as compost. Because it's so rich in nitrogen, tobacco dust is an excellent material to help enrich the soil. Since 2010, we've composted more than half a million tons of tobacco dust that would have otherwise gone to the landfill."