GLEN ELLYN, IL- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) along with the State’s Waste Management and Research Center (WMRC) honored 22 Illinois companies and organizations for their significant achievements in protecting the environment and boosting the economy. The Governor’s Pollution Prevention Awards and the Illinois Sustainable Technology Awards were presented today in Glen Ellyn during a luncheon. This is the 21st consecutive year the awards were presented by the WMRC, a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
“These organizations are leading the way in finding and using new ways to reduce waste and protect the environment. They have made an ongoing commitment to prevent pollution that, in the long run, will make their employees and our communities healthier,” said IDNR Acting Director Sam Flood. “Governor Blagojevich and I applaud the accomplishments of these award winners in reducing and recycling waste to help us conserve valuable natural resources while keeping our land, air and water clean.”
The Pollution Prevention (P2) projects recognized through the Governor’s Pollution Prevention Awards program produced millions of dollars in savings in material and disposal costs. The award winners prevented hundreds of tons of waste materials from being released into the environment and saved millions of gallons of wastewater from being sent to treatment facilities. The Illinois Sustainable Technology Award recognizes a novel technology or process that leads to significant waste reduction, waste elimination, or environmental impact.
“These businesses and organizations have proven that pollution prevention makes good sense for the environmental and economic health of Illinois,” said George Vander Velde,
WMRC Director. “They have achieved their pollution prevention goals and saved millions of dollars in pollution control, waste disposal, energy, and raw material costs.”
The 2007 award winners are listed below. Information on the Governor's Pollution Prevention Awards program and technical assistance on pollution prevention and energy efficiency are available from the Waste Management and Research Center, One Hazelwood Drive, Champaign, IL 61820, phone 217/333-8940, http://www.wmrc.uiuc.edu/.
2007 Governor’s Pollution Prevention Award winners
Abbott in North Chicago implemented projects to reduce fresh water usage, which saved more than 3 million gallons per year. Isopropyl alcohol is now segregated for reuse instead of going to a water treatment facility. Abbott also developed a process change that will reduce use of hazardous solvents up to 60%.
Akzo Nobel Non-Stick Coatings in Des Plaines has a goal to remove all hazardous air pollutants from its coatings. This year all of these solvents were removed from 20 coatings products, cutting emissions more than one ton. An additional reduction of 3/4 of a ton in hazardous emissions is expected in the upcoming year.
All-Brite Anodizing Co. in Northlake developed methods to extend the life of its Nickel Seal bath, converted to continuous pretreatment of its acid recycling, and developed a filter system to recycle the tank acid. This saves the small company over $12,000 per year.
Amerikal Products Corporation in Waukegan developed a biodegradable blanket and roller wash for offset printers. This product offers a viable alternative to petroleum based washes, which dramatically reduces or eliminates harmful chemicals while offsetting millions of gallons of petroleum each year. Additionally, Amerikal developed a single step fountain solution to run without alcohol.
Cadbury Adams in Rockford developed a non-contact system to provide cooling water to process equipment. Using this system in the three chiller cooling towers means discharge to the sanitary district has been reduced by more than 8 million gallons at a savings of $13 million dollars.
Caterpillar Inc. Hydraulics and Hydraulic Systems in Joliet implemented a flame sprayed coating for its truck suspension system, replacing a chroming process. As a result of this change, the plan will reduce hazardous waste by 700,000 pounds annually and save 14 million gallons of water. It also will save the company an estimated $280,000 per year. This project is the culmination of more than five years work to develop and implement an environmentally friendly alternative to hard chrome plating.
Caterpillar Inc. Cast Metals Organization (CMO) in Mapleton had a team that looked at the regulation requiring scrap to be free of Hazardous Air Pollutants.
The team developed a program that informed the Foundry about the scrap suppliers’ ability to provide acceptable product. Mapleton worked with the American Foundry Society to help produce a rule that would not only meet strict quality requirements, but would allow foundries to continue to recycle certain types of scrap and maintain a competitive cost structure.
Caterpillar Inc. Mossville Engine Center (MEC) in Mossville formed a team to look at used oil re-use and recycle processes that forced MEC to send large amounts of used oil off-site for recycling, instead of reclaiming it for re-use on-site. Based on the team’s recommendations, the facility developed two system updates, installed a newer, more effective dehydrator and an underground pipeline. The resulting benefits included a total savings of $816,851 for the year and a reduction of about 208,000 gallons of oil.
Cintas Corporation in Rockford is an industrial laundry facility, which completed projects aimed at improving wastewater discharge compliance, reducing the amount of water used and discharged, and
reducing the amount of energy used. Cintas installed a new clarifier and equalization tank for wastewater pretreatment, a wastewater heat re-claimer, a boiler stack economizer, and more efficient washers and dryers. The new process allowed Cintas to reduce freshwater usage by 25%, reduce the volume of wastewater discharged by 29%, and reduce natural gas consumption by over 28%.
Consolidated Printing in Chicago replaced its petroleum-based press and blanket washes with more environmentally responsible cleaners made from bean and seed esters. Consolidated reduced its volatile organic carbon emissions by 600 lbs, and increased the life of its press rollers, which saved $7,500 per year. Consolidated also converted to an electronic ordering and approval system to reduce the printing of hard paper proofs for their clients, and purchased a digital press for smaller orders, which has reduced paper and ink wastes.
Crest Industries of New Lenox manufactures industrial paints and coatings. Crest implemented several projects including installing separate lines of unpigmented and pigmented products. Previously, during a batch changeover, up to 100 gallons of solvent were used to clean the filling equipment. Now, with the dedicated line, only 20 to 30 gallons of solvent are required. Crest reduced its hazardous waste generation by over 13,000 gallons per year, reduced its annual cleaning solvent purchases by $43,000, and saved $6,000 in disposal costs.
Electronic Interconnect Inc. (EI) in Elk Grove Village is a Printed Circuit Board manufacturer. EI initiated several projects to decrease its chemical consumption and waste generation by a range of 10 to 45% for eight major chemicals. The liquid hazardous waste generated was reduced by 40% in a period of two years, which is almost 40,000 gallons per year. EI also substituted less hazardous chemicals in other processes and eliminated the in-house consumption of lead containing materials.
Farmland Foods in Monmouth installed two hog coolers onsite, which were complemented with a large trim blender, and electrical switchgear. This resulted in reductions in water, CO2, and energy use in the meat cooling process. Water usage was cut by 34 million gallons per year, CO2 use was reduced by 2.7 million pounds, and energy use dropped by 5.2 million kilowatt hour. These projects collectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 9.7 million pounds annually, and save the company over $8 million per year. Other significant benefits include a reduction in product shrinkage and improvements in labor savings.
GE Healthcare in Arlington Heights is a manufacturer of radiopharmaceuticals that are used in various imaging techniques. GE Healthcare implemented a waste reduction project to reduce the amount of Low Level Waste generated in manufacturing areas. By providing employees with the ability to segregate waste at the point of generation, an annual volume reduction of approximately 34% was realized. An estimated annual savings of $39,000 in disposal and labor costs was realized by this project.
HN Automotive Inc (HNAI) in Effingham initiated a Tooling Management Program, which saw a tooling costs decrease of over 30%, a savings of more than $300,000. It also installed a machine to compress metal chips from machining operations into cylindrical pucks that are sent back to the foundry to make new castings. HNAI upgraded the compressed air system, reducing annual energy usage by 350,000 kWh, a savings of over $20,000 per year. A membrane filtration system was installed to remove water from liquid wastes, which reduced water use over 100,000 gallons per year and saved more than $30,000.
Horigan Urban Forest Products, Inc. in Glenview is committed to recycling trees from the urban forest. Previously, most trees that were removed from the Chicago area were chipped for mulch or cut for firewood. Horigan now turns trees cut down on residential, commercial or public property into kiln-dried lumber for use by homeowners or artisans. By using trees from local sources, Horigan reduces the number of trees removed from the forest, reduces the amount of fuel consumption for transporting lumber, and reduces the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere by sequestering carbon as hardwood lumber.
International Truck and Engine in Melrose Park developed a new coating for the spray coating process for the new engines it manufactures. The prior engines needed to be completely spray-painted. The new coating is water-based, contributing to a reduction of hazardous emissions. Additionally, this coating covers an average of 23 engines per gallon; the old blue coat paint covered only four engines per gallon. The change resulted in annual reductions of paint use by 82%, hazardous emissions by 83%, and paint sludge waste by 12.5%. The facility’s efforts have resulted in an annual savings of $115,000.
Koppers Inc. in Stickney implemented pollution prevention projects that reduced its hazardous waste generation by 70%, natural gas usage by 129,000 therms per year, and electricity consumption by 1.96 million kilowatt hours per year. The projects saved $2.2 million per year. Koppers added exhausters to its process and a vapor ejector system.
The exhausters separate phthalic anhydride from a byproduct stream and return it to the refining process, which increased product yield and reduced hazardous waste. Koppers also implemented a system that minimized the compressed air feed during low production. The reduced airflow has led to a decrease in energy consumption, a reduction in emissions, and an increase in product yield.
Nalco Company in Bedford Park is a specialty chemical company. The plant made improvements to recover more product from its manufacturing process and decrease the use of steam. These changes saved millions of pounds of products, reduced several tons of air emissions, and reduced the overall gas usage at the plant. The overall savings from these projects totaled over $600,000. Nalco also provides idled buildings to various governmental and local agencies for use in training drills, benefiting emergency response teams and hospitals.
New Holland Apartments in Danville is a five-story brick structure that was renovated in a way that combines historic restoration, affordable housing, and green design and technologies. The Holland was an abandoned building awaiting demolition until Crosspoint Human Services purchased it and restored it. A Geothermal unit was installed to provide energy efficient cooling and heating that is individual apartment controlled. Thermal windows and Energy Star rated appliances were installed to save energy. Period brick was reclaimed from nearby demolitions to replace architectural features long ago removed by former owners.
2007 Illinois Sustainable Technology Award winners
Colbert Packaging Corp in Lake Forest developed BlisterGuard and EnviroGuard, which replace the traditional plastic clamshell commonly used for retail display. Both products are pilfer resistant, use more environmentally friendly material, provide ample space for manufacturers’ product branding and are easily recyclable by consumers. These products reduce or eliminate petroleum-based plastics and are printed using soy-based inks.
Crown Cork & Seal Beverage Division in Kankakee improved its spray machines to operate reliably at much lower pressures. A new system also monitors the spray to ensure proper application of the interior can coating. The system has allowed the plant to reduce interior coatings per can and save $250,000. Hazardous emissions have been reduced by 22.5 tons.