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Armstrong makes energy efficiency a priority
LANCASTER, PA– In 2010 the Armstrong South Gate, Calif., floor plant achieved a 67 percent overall reduction in plant-wide water use and sewer discharge, compared to 2009. The plant saved roughly 4,000,000 gallons of water –enough to fill six Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Jim Patton, manager, Environmental Health and Safety at South Gate, explained, “Most of the savings were achieved via an internal recycling loop on our new collection tank on Tile Line #1. 'Slightly' used water collects in the tank, the level is controlled, particulate solids fall to the bottom, and then the water is pumped out to be reused in the same process it came from. Some fresh water needs to be added to keep the recirculating system full, but overall, this helps us use far less fresh water.”
The plant achieved savings elsewhere via careful control monitoring and process improvements. Maintenance and Engineering investigated seemingly random intermittent periods of high water use. They identified areas for pump improvements and control valve efficiencies. Their efforts led to corrective actions resulting in water reductions for Tile Line #2.
The two tile manufacturing lines saved a significant volume of wastewater from going to the city's municipal sewer system:
Line #1 -- A 76 percent reduction: 4,137,100 gallons in 2009 to 1,006,200 gallons in 2010. Line #2 -- A 45 percent reduction:
1,504,090 gallons in 2009 to 833,900 gallons in 2010.
South Gate “WRAPs” Up Environmental Award
Margo Reid Brown, director, CalRecycle, said, “We applaud your [Armstrong’s] voluntary efforts to reduce, reuse, recycle and buy recycled in your daily business activities. Your waste reduction activities are helping to move California towards a healthier future. Collectively, this year's WRAP winners have reported a diversion of over two million tons from our landfills and more than $190 million in cost savings. Your work is truly commendable. We look forward to your continued efforts and future improvements in waste reduction.”
The plant's waste reduction activities avoided the disposal of over 3.4 million lbs of manufacturing waste (re-used) and 304,000 lbs of materials (paper, plastic, metal) that were recycled. Also, the plant purchased 2.2 million lbs of corrugated boxes with 35 percent recycled fiber content, and 1.4 million lbs of post-industrial scrap vinyl. They also purchased refurbished ink toner cartridges for office printers and 30 percent recycled fiber content office paper. More waste reduction opportunities are planned for 2011.
Armstrong World Industries, Inc. is a global leader in the design and manufacture of floors, ceilings and cabinets with a focus on innovation, design and environmental sustainability. In 2009, Armstrong’s consolidated net sales totaled approximately $2.8 billion. Based in Lancaster, PA, Armstrong operates 35 plants in eight countries and has approximately 10,000 employees worldwide. www.armstrong.com.