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Ohio EPA Recognizes Eight Organizations with Environmental Excellence Awards
Ohio EPA has awarded eight environmentally innovative organizations with this year’s Encouraging Environmental Excellence (E3) Silver Awards. The E3 program recognizes organizations committed to environmental excellence.
The program provides three recognition levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Silver Award recipients have demonstrated a commitment to go beyond regulatory compliance, have integrated outstanding environmental management into their core business functions and have developed aggressive performance goals, including a process to communicate the company’s environmental progress to its community.
The eight organizations that are being recognized this year:
GKN Driveline, Bowling Green - GKN machines and assembles drivelines for most of the major automobile manufacturers. The company is continually improving its environmental performance and uses many pollution prevention techniques including returnable packaging and preventative maintenance. Through process modification, GKN generates no hazardous waste at the site. GKN aims to become a zero waste facility and is currently achieving a recycling rate of 99 percent. The company reduced coolant waste in its machining process by separating contaminated coolant and metal chips more efficiently. The metal chips are recycled and the waste coolant mix is reused after a recharging process. This results in the use of less coolant, less water during refilling, less discharge of industrial wastewater and lower disposal costs.
TimkenSteel’s Water Treatment Plant, Canton - TimkenSteel’s water treatment plant receives wastewater from the Harrison, Gambrinus and Faircrest plants. The water is cleaned and returned back to the steel plants for use. The water plant team knew the treatment program that was in place was fully optimized and any further improvement could only be realized if the team was open to changing the long-standing and reliable chemical treatment program that had been in place for decades. Through evaluation and testing, an alternative to the current coagulant in use was found. With this change, the plant improved control of the clarifier effluent, while reducing chemical use by 90 percent or 777,000 pounds per year, and reducing costs by $30,000 per year. Other benefits include producing less solids and a drier filter cake, by more than two million pounds annually.
University Hospital, Cleveland - University Hospitals’ Case Medical Center (UHCMC) is a 1,032-bed medical center and is the primary affiliate of Case Western Reserve University. Together, they form the largest center for biomedical research in Ohio. UHCMC is committed to sustainable environmental improvements that extend throughout the system. UHCMC created a sustainability department, council and multidisciplinary committees that develop and execute system-wide sustainability initiatives and extends its environmental commitment into the community. New programs increased the annual recycling volume from 859 tons in 2009 to 3,178 tons in 2013, a 270 percent increase. UHCMC has reduced recycling costs associated with universal wastes by 46 percent over the last four years and reduced the volume of hazardous waste reaching landfills. UHCMC eliminated more than 38,000 pounds of landfill waste by donating unused equipment and medical supplies in humanitarian efforts and disaster areas around the world.
GOJO Industries, Cuyahoga Falls – GOJO Industries, Inc. is a leading global producer and marketer of skin health and hygiene solutions for away-from-home settings. Between 2010 and 2013, GOJO reduced water usage by 40 percent, solid waste by 36 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 46 percent. Its hazardous waste minimization efforts in 2013 allowed the company to change its hazardous waste generator status from large to small quantity generator and eliminated more than 9,000 pounds of hazardous wastes.
Melink, Milford – Melink Corp. provides energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions for commercial and institutional building industries. Melink constructed new headquarters that are certified gold for new construction under Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) by the U.S. Green Building Council. The headquarters embodies the company’s vision and commitment to sustainable development. Melink continues implementing energy reduction practices and evaluating new sustainable energy production technologies at its headquarters. Highlights include: a geothermal heat pump, solar thermal system, solar photovoltaic systems, wind turbine, battery storage system, lighting efficiencies, automatic lighting systems, building insulation improvements, hybrid electric fleet vehicles and vehicle plug-in stations. The estimated direct energy costs savings is roughly $45,000 per year.
CSX Intermodal Terminals, Inc. – Northwest Ohio Trans-Shipment Terminal, North Baltimore - The CSX Intermodal Terminals, Inc. NWOH Terminal is a 540-acre hub facility within CSX’s intermodal network. Operations include the transfer of freight containers between highway and railway modes of transport. Industrial activities include locomotive fueling and servicing, railcar maintenance, maintenance of equipment and yard trucks and material storage. The terminal – the first of its kind in the world – operates various cutting-edge technologies of green design including ultra-efficient wide-span electric cranes that lower emissions, optical scanners that reduce truck idling times, technologies which automatically track railcars and remote switches that increase operational efficiency. These technologies help CSX achieve its environmental stewardship goals at the terminal and its commitment to go above and beyond routine environmental compliance.
Industry Products Company, Piqua - Industry Products Company (IPC) is a family-owned business in operation since 1966. It manufactures a large percentage of the trunk floors in North American-made automobiles and a growing percentage of cargo covers. Using a variety of paper, rubber and plastic products, IPC produces in-transit protection, water shields and acoustic parts for cars and trucks, and produces gaskets for refrigeration units and compressors. In 2012-2013, IPC recycled 70 percent of its waste, incorporating some in new IPC products. Rewiring buildings and replacing lights saved approximately 36 percent in energy use even with an increase in business. Monitoring propane lift truck emissions reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) by 122 tons. Employee participation and training programs are used to reduce waste.
Ford Sharonville Transmission Plant, Sharonville - The Ford Sharonville Transmission Plant (STP) manufactures and assembles automatic transmissions and gears for the motor vehicle industry. Operations include heat treating, machining and testing of transmissions and gears. Metal machining operations use oils to lubricate tooling and cool machined parts. Grinding operations generate a metal chip/abrasive fine machining mud waste called “swarf.” This solid waste stream is laden with oil stuck to the surfaces of the chips and abrasives. The grinding mud waste previously was sent to a landfill. STP now is reclaiming 45,000 gallons of machining oils annually for direct reuse. This reduced purchases of new machining oils resulted in an annual estimated cost savings of $540,000. Reuse of the oil and recycling of the swarf as a raw ingredient in pig iron manufacture has diverted 600 tons of waste from landfills and saved an additional $20,000 annually in landfill costs. Since 2008, STP has seen a 65 percent reduction in machining oil use.
For more information about Ohio EPA’s Encouraging Environmental Excellence Program and the three levels of recognition, visit www.epa.ohio.gov/ohioE3.aspx or call (800) 329-7518.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.