In this video press conference series, West Liberty Foods celebrated being certified a landfill-free company at the Bolingbrook, Ill. facility where a number of speakers highlighted the process and thanked the participants.

Bill Foster, U.S. Congressman for the 11th Congressional District of Illinois: For those of you who might not know me, I’m Congressman Bill Foster. I’m best known for being the last PhD scientist in the United States Congress, but I am also a businessman. When I was a 19-year-old kid, my little brother and I started a company in our basement, and that company now provides more than 1,000 good manufacturing jobs and we’ve kept all those jobs in the Midwest, which is something I am very proud of. Our company also… we don’t achieve the 99 percent, but we recycle as much as we can, which turns out to be very good business, and so I congratulate you on that because it is going to make your business more sustainable economically as well as environmentally.

I’m personally very proud to represent this area as a part of the 11th Congressional District of Illinois in Washington D.C. and our district is home to companies, many companies like West Liberty Foods that are setting the standards for sustainable business. Through innovation and innovative engineering, West Liberty Foods has achieved landfill-free standing verified by NSF International, which makes West Liberty Foods one of the first companies of its size to do so in the entire country. Becoming a landfill-free company requires a new approach to waste management techniques. Rather than just disposing of waste in landfills, 99 percent of the waste streams are diverted in a sustainable way, to recycling, composting and incinerating. I also have to say that as a politician, and I think Mayor Claar will attest as well, one of the most difficult things in politics is locating a new landfill and getting the neighbors to agree. So if 99 percent of your output is recycled and does not go into a landfill, the number of landfills that we need in our country is reduced significantly and that makes politics run more smoothly in any location.

As a scientist, I also spend a lot of time thinking about how all of our activities are impacting the environment and how we can put science to good use developing ways to minimize the detrimental effects that we’ve had for far too long. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, landfills are the third largest source of methane emissions in the U.S., which adds significantly to the Earth’s rising temperatures and contributing to climate change. Landfills can also contaminate drinking water and pollute the soil, harming thriving ecosystems and the health of those living nearby. That’s why the work you’ve done to become landfill-free is so important. West Liberty Foods is really a leader in corporate social responsibility and has given other businesses in the country a proven path to follow. So congratulations to everyone. Your hard work has paid off with this remarkable accomplishment.

For more videos on West Liberty Foods Bolingbrook facility’s landfill-free certification, click here.