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October 18, 2002

Governor Announces Pollution Prevention Award Winners

SPRINGFIELD - Governor George H. Ryan today named 15 companies, three service organizations and a community group as winners of the Governor’s Pollution Prevention Awards for their achievements in reducing hazardous, solid and liquid waste releases and toxic air emissions into the environment.

Governor Ryan also announced the selection of Caterpillar, Inc.’s Technical Services Division as the winner of the Innovate Illinois Award for technological innovation in pollution prevention and resource conservation.

"These industrial manufacturers, service organizations and other award winners are worthy of recognition for their commitment to improving the environment and the quality of life in their communities,” Governor Ryan said. “Their waste reduction and resource protection successes through well-designed strategies prove once again that pollution prevention programs are good business decisions for the companies and for the people of Illinois.”

The Governor’s Pollution Prevention Awards were presented today in Champaign during a luncheon hosted by the Waste Management and Research Center (WMRC), a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. This is the 16th annual presentation of the awards.

"The companies and organizations being honored know the value of recycling, reusing and reducing waste materials as an important component of their business,” said IDNR Director Brent Manning.

The companies receiving awards reported pollution prevention projects with combined annual savings of $5.1 million in material and disposal costs. The companies prevented nearly 17,000 tons of waste materials from being released into the environment and saved more than 45 million gallons of water from being sent to treatment facilities. They also reported the projects reduced their energy consumption by up to 59 percent.

Applicants were judged in statewide competition on criteria including technological innovation, environmental significance, economic benefits and commitment to pollution prevention. WMRC pollution prevention engineers reviewed the applications, while the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency determined company environmental compliance.

"Again this year, we were impressed with the variety and quality of the projects undertaken by the winning companies,” said George Vander Velde, Director of the Waste Management and Research Center. “These businesses and organizations have proven that pollution prevention makes good sense for the environmental and economic health of Illinois. They have achieved their pollution prevention goals and saved millions of dollars in pollution control, waste disposal, energy and raw material costs.”

Information on the Governor’s Pollution Prevention Awards program and technical assistance on pollution prevention are available from the Waste Management and Research Center, One East Hazelwood Drive, Champaign, IL 61820, phone 217/333-8940, www.wmrc.uiuc.edu


Vendor/Supplier Category

Crazy Horse Concrete, Inc., New Berlin (Sangamon County), is a ready mix concrete producer. Crazy Horse Concrete installed a reclamation system to retrieve aggregates from the returned concrete while still in its plastic concrete state. Dust collection systems were installed not only on the plant’s storage silos, but also on an enclosed loading area. The company lot was paved with an incline into an area where a one-half million-gallon concrete storage pit retains all water from rainwater and from the manufacturing process. This water is re-used as part of concrete production, alleviating use of city water.

Community Group Category

Great Rivers Land Trust (GRLT), Alton (Madison County), is a non-profit organization formed to promote the preservation of natural resources in the watershed of the Mississippi River. When the Illinois-American Water Company began construction of a new water treatment plant, it found that environmental regulations would require the company to construct sediment lagoons instead of discharging the materials back into the river. As an alternative, the company proposed funding the Piasa Creek Watershed Project to reduce sediment entering the Mississippi River by a two-to-one ratio compared to what the water plant would discharge into the river. GRLT and the water company agreed to a 10-year project to reduce sedimentation by approximately 6,600 ton per year through silt basins, dry dams, streambank stabilization, land acquisition, and various other practices.

Service Organization Category

182nd Airlift Wing, Illinois Air National Guard in Peoria (Peoria County), has developed several pollution prevention projects. The unit’s Hazardous Materials Pharmacy Program created a central location for controlling the procurement and issuing of hazardous materials by all organizations on base. The vehicle maintenance operation has integrated oil-life extension, fuel reclamation, and antifreeze recycling programs. A computer simulation Fire Arms Training System (FATS) has been established for qualifying base personnel. Use of the FATS system has reduced the number of live rounds fired by 80,000, and waste generated by the cleaning of firearms has been reduced by 70 percent. An ultra filtration (UF) unit has been installed in a parts washer to extend the life of the water/detergent mixture in the tank, reducing the amount of hazardous waste generated.

St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Belleville (St. Clair County), is a private not-for-profit acute care hospital that is dedicated to reducing pollutants into the waste stream. The hospital’s pollution prevention programs include: replacement of mercury thermostats, mercury-containing sphygmomanometers (blood pressure cuffs) and thermometers; a fluorescent lamp and electronic ballast replacement program; and a retrieval program for sharp devices and equipment (hypodermic and suture needles, blood collection devices, scalpels) that has kept more than 42,600 pounds of plastics and sharps from being incinerated. The hospital has also implemented recycling programs for cardboard, office paper and batteries.

St. Joseph's Hospital, Breese (Clinton County), is a not-for-profit hospital that is dedicated to protecting the environment while avoiding additional expenses. St. Joseph's implemented a mercury reduction program that included replacing all mercury thermometers and sphygmomanometers (blood pressure cuffs) with digital units, recycling used fluorescent bulbs and other mercury containing bulbs, and implemented a purchasing code to ensure that all new products entering the hospital are mercury-free. St. Joseph's Hospital recycles paper, cardboard, newspaper, telephone directories, and silver bi-products. St. Joseph's also replaced disposable products with reusables wherever feasible and has a recycling program for batteries, chemical drums, scrap metal and aluminum cans.

Small Industry Category

Norco Cleaners, Inc., Dolton (Cook County), is committed to maintaining a clean environment. Norco's pollution prevention projects include: the development of a pre-filter system, installation of a heat exchanger system, eliminating the use of plastic bags for commercial customers, and implementing a technology to extract unused solvents for reuse. Norco has achieved the highest level of environmental compliance, the "Gold Star" recognition, as part of the Illinois Drycleaner Star Recognition program. Norco was also the first drycleaner in the nation to become a charter member of the National Environmental Performance Track with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Medium Industry Category

Gleason Cutting Tools Corp., Loves Park (Winnebago County), is a leading supplier of gear cutting and finishing tools for industry and specialized markets. Gleason is an ISO 9001, Quality Management System, and ISO 14001 Environmental System registered company. As part of the company’s efforts to meet environmental, health and safety improvement goals, Gleason reduced solvent usage and turned 100 percent of the solvent waste into a usable product that is recycled in making roofing materials. In addition, machine wastewater has been reduced by more than13 percent through careful monitoring of production machine coolant properties, additives and recycling frequencies.

ZF Industries, Inc., Vernon Hills (Lake County), re-manufactures drive train components such as transmissions, axles, gear boxes and steering gears for trucks, buses, cars and agricultural and construction equipment. In 2001, ZF developed a program to become certified ISO 14001 through numerous projects including assessment, waste management, energy conservation and productivity improvements. Projects included recycling of metal, paper, batteries, printer cartridges, computers and wooden crates. ZF also implemented training for all employees and an employee suggestion program with incentives.

Large Industry Category

Baxter-Healthcare, Renal Division, McGaw Park (Lake County), manufactures and markets healthcare products. Baxter developed innovative waste reduction and recycling programs including: lighting conservation efforts that have resulted in a 28 percent reduction of electricity use, installing a compressed air system that resulted in a 59 percent reduction of electricity use, and installation of water-saving equipment on sterilizers that resulted in a savings of 5.5 million gallons of water. Additionally, Baxter implemented recycling programs for non-hazardous waste including paper, cardboard, glass and plastic. Baxter also developed a master inventory program for laboratory chemicals to reduce hazardous waste and implemented training programs to reduce bio-hazardous waste.

Collins & Aikman Corporation/Rantoul Products consists of three locations in Rantoul (Champaign County) that manufacture plastic automotive interior parts. Through its environmental management program, Rantoul Products has had a 99 percent reduction in regulated paint waste disposal. Emissions were reduced when the company switched from solvent-borne paint to waterborne paint. Rantoul Products also reduced its solid waste disposal in 2001 by 15 percent compared with the previous year.

Matsushita Universal Media Services LLC of America, Pinckneyville (Perry County), produces music and video discs. The company reduced energy consumption, reduced consumption of the raw materials used in disc manufacturing, and implemented a pallet re-use program. Electricity consumption was reduced 13 percent on a per-unit basis, which resulted in an approximate annual savings of $141,616. The reduction in raw materials consumption resulted in a 7,765 pound reduction in the amount of scrap being generated.

Minwax, Flora (Clay County), manufactures Minwax wood stains and waxes. Minwax developed a wastewater-recycling program that uses totes on the production lines to collect various types of water wash. All of the by-product that was sent out of the plant as waste now is saved for re-use in a compatible blend. In 2001, Minwax reduced its water wash disposal by more than 30,000 gallons. Minwax also developed a system using air pressure to push a foam "pig" through the filling line arrangement. The "pig" empties into the product hopper where the liquid is forced into cans as finished product.

Continuous Improvement Category

Amersham Health, Arlington Heights (Cook County), is a manufacturer of radiopharmaceuticals that are used to diagnose disease through various imaging techniques. The company has installed steam autoclaves that produce less wastewater, and improved vial-filling equipment to reduce the level of contamination in the wastewater. A new wastewater management facility also was built to increase decay time for radioactive contents, segregate waste streams, detect and eliminate leaks, and prevent ground water infiltration. Operation of the plant in 2001 reduced the amount of radioactivity in wastewater by 95 percent and the concentration of radionuclides by 91 percent.

Abbott Laboratories, North Chicago (Lake County), developed several pollution prevention projects, including methods to reduce the risk of spills through installation of operational controls, technology changes and process redesign. The company also eliminated odorous and costly waste solids through a process modification that saved $970,000 in waste disposal costs and equipment expense. An engineering team improved air dispersion on 31 fermentors by installing new equipment that resulted in an energy-use reduction.

Caterpillar, Inc., Mining & Construction Equipment Division, Decatur (Macon County), developed a fluids management project that upgraded the company’s wastewater treatment plant and, as a result, decreased its wastewater discharge by 80,000 gallons per day. Caterpillar also implemented an oil contamination and reclamation program, and a mining and environmental education program that provides tools for teachers and students studying minerals and mining. Caterpillar also eliminated its use of hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide and discontinued its paint stripping operation.

International Truck and Engine Corporation, Melrose Park (Cook County), implemented a number of projects to attain its goal of 12 percent reduction in use of natural gas including: window replacement, installing new truck dock seals, controlling heating, cooling and ventilation systems using a computerized energy management system, steam recovery from co-generation exhaust, and a boiler condensate return project. International also expanded its recycling programs for paper, cardboard, cans, bottles, printer/toner cartridges, and dry cell batteries. In 2001, this effort saved the facility approximately $389,064. The facility also replaced an old tower with a high-efficiency cooling tower.

Lansing Cleaners in Lansing (Cook County) implemented several projects to achieve both quality cleaning and a clean environment. Projects include implementing "energy smart" power controllers that resulted in an energy reduction of 18-21 percent, utilizing heat insulated paint, putting reflective materials under lamps, and installing insulation around solvent lines and hot and cold pipes. Lansing also installed a CO2 machine that uses 40 percent less energy and decreases hazardous waste generation by 75 percent.

National Manufacturing has factories in Sterling and Rock Falls (Whiteside County) that make builders hardware. The company installed reverse osmosis (RO) units on its brass cyanide rinse tanks and constructed an Auto Technology barrel plating line. The RO units separate plating solution from rinse water and return valuable chemicals to the plating tank. The construction of the barrel plating line saved floor space and uses less water. The larger barrel perforations improve solution drainage that allows the valuable metal to drain back to the tank for reuse in the plating process.

Stepan Company, Elwood (Will County), is a manufacturer of chemicals that has completed a series of projects that reduced waste generation and air emissions. The plant made control system and control parameter improvements to a process to reduce the waste volume generated. The company developed changes to reuse by-product sulfuric acid within the plant. Also, several acid by-product streams are now sold as product rather than being sent offsite for reclamation. Stepan implemented a methanol recovery project using a new vacuum system to achieve at least 95 percent recovery.

The Innovate Illinois Award was also presented during the Champaign event. The Innovate Illinois Award is presented to a company that has developed and implemented a new technological innovation. For the second consecutive year the award was presented to Caterpillar Inc.'s Technical Services Division (TSD) in Peoria (Peoria County). Caterpillar received the award for the TSD's development of Virtual Fabrication Technology (VFT), which provides a virtual environment for equipment design and tests. The VFT allows testing of new processes through a computer model rather than building prototypes, eliminating resource waste and environmental impact. To date, the use of the VFT has eliminated nearly 125,000 pounds of material waste and 15.75 pounds of weld fume from just 15 applications.


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