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September 19, 2016updated 03 Oct 2016 3:44pm

Google goes greener with plans of zero-waste data centres

The firm says it already diverts 86 percent of its data centres waste from landfill

By Hannah Williams

Google has announced its plans to achieve zero waste to landfill its data centres globally, in which no waste will go to a landfill when leaving its data centres.

The internet giant said in a blog post that 100 percent of waste will be diverted to a more sustainable pathway, with only 10 percent to be transferred to a waste-to-energy facility. This is expected to take effect unless Google is able to prove waste-to-energy as more valuable than alternative diversion paths.

With immediate effect, six of its 14 sites are already achieving 100 percent diversion rates. Although, across its data centre operations globally, there is plans to divert at least 86 percent of waste away from landfills.

zero waste

In a blog post, Rachel Futrell, Technical Program Manager for Data Centre Sustainability said:

“At our operating data centres in Europe and APAC we have reached 100 percent diversion from landfill which currently includes contribution from waste to energy of greater than 10 percent.”

The data centre sites are located in countries such as: Ireland, Finland, Belgium, Changhua County, Taiwan and Singapore.

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Futrell added: “As we continue to implement new diversion strategies and ways to design waste out altogether that percentage will decrease.”

Google revealed that its data centre located in Mayes County, Oklahoma was the first of the 14 to reach zero waste to landfill. The site has deployed compactors, in help to manage waste.

This not only helps to divert waste in a more effective way, but also provides Google with an accurate weight data tracking, which reduces the number of pick-ups the vendor has to make and is also cleaner for the site overall.

In discussion on how it was able to reach the success of zero waste to landfill, Rachel Futrell said:

“The same concepts we apply to serve management, we apply to our maintenance operations to keep the data centres up and running… Frequently the last 10 to 20 percent of waste diversion can be the hardest to solve, but understanding these processes is critical to success.

Zero waste to landfill is just the first step in a long process to sustainably manage our resources throughout the entire lifecycle of our data centres.”

Google

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