Twinsburg: Hot weather is good for cold drinks.
And that’s good for the Coca-Cola bottling plant on Highland Road.
Production is up roughly 3 to 4 percent over this time last year, and plant officials say part of the reason is no doubt this year’s mild winter and warm spring.
“Mother Nature has been great for most of the [beverage] industry,” said Steven Morgan, plant manager.
Coca-Cola Co. representatives gave a rare tour of the plant to media Tuesday, wanting to highlight the 38-year-old facility’s role in the community, as well as its environmental efforts.
“We don’t do a lot of garbage here,” said DeAnn Baxter, a?Coca-Cola Refreshments manager of public affairs and communications.
The Twinsburg plant recycles virtually all of its manufacturing waste. Even plastic bottle caps that accidentally fall onto the floor during production are saved and ground into pellets before being shipped from the plant for use elsewhere.
“Sugar wastewater” — water sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup that is left over from production — is trucked to one or more farms outside Columbus for pig feed.
Here are some other facts about the Twinsburg plant, which bottles and cans Coke products for the Akron and Pittsburgh markets, as well as areas in the northeastern United States. (The Cleveland Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Inc. serves Cuyahoga County. This plant, in Bedford Heights, is family-owned; the Twinsburg facility is owned by Coca-Cola Co., headquartered in Atlanta.)
• The 286,000-square-foot Twinsburg plant bottles and cans Coca-Cola Classic, Diet Coke (the No. 1 and 2 beverages in the United States); Coke Zero, Sprite and Dasani water, among other Coke products.
Dasani is made with Cleveland water, which is sent through a filtration system at the plant. The plant also buys water from Akron.
• The 118-employee plant produces 30 million cases of beverages a year.
“That’s not a lot of people for all that we do — it’s very automated,” production manager Sean O’Dell said as he watched hundreds of Dasani water bottles move along assembly lines at a rapid rat to the filling room. On one of the facility’s four lines, cans are filled at a rate of 1,800 cans per minute.
• The bottling/canning process may be more complicated than people might think. Cans get chilly — when carbon dioxide (for fizz) is added — and then are warmed up, to stop condensation from forming inside the cardboard carton.
• Security is tight. News photographers were not allowed to shoot photos inside production areas.
Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or firstname.lastname@example.org.