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October 27, 2000

Governor Announces Pollution Prevention Award Winners

LISLE -- Governor George H. Ryan today named 17 companies winners of the Governor's Pollution Prevention Awards for their achievements in reducing hazardous, solid and liquid wastes and toxic air emissions.

"These manufacturers, service and technology firms are worthy of recognition for their commitment to improving the environment," Ryan said. A number of them have made pollution prevention a top priority for many years, proving once again that wise use of resources and reducing waste flows make sense for Illinois businesses."

The Governor's Pollution Prevention Awards were presented today in Lisle during a luncheon hosted by the Waste Management and Research Center (WMRC), a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. This is the 14th annual presentation of the awards.

"These companies have shown us the value of reducing, reusing and recycling waste materials, improving air quality, and making wise use of our natural resources," said IDNR Director Brent Manning.

The 17 companies receiving awards reported pollution prevention projects with combined annual savings of more than $8.2 million in material and disposal costs. The companies prevented nearly 520,000 tons of waste from being released into the environment.

Award applicants were judged in statewide competition on innovative strategies and their uses of technology to prevent or reduce the volume and toxicity of waste. Judging criteria included technological innovation, environmental significance, economic benefits and commitment to pollution prevention. This year's awards were presented in Vendor/Supplier Industry and Continuous Improvement categories.

WMRC pollution prevention engineers reviewed the applications, while the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency determined company environmental compliance.

"In 14 years of Governor's Awards competition, we have seen more and more businesses looking at and implementing new and innovative ways of achieving pollution prevention and, at the same time, seeing the benefits on their bottom lines," said George Vander Velde, Director of the Waste Management and Research Center.

Information on the 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 217/333­8940, Ameritech Relay 800/526­0844, www.wmrc.uiuc.edu

A list of award winners is attached:


Vendor/Supplier Category

  • Arbortech Corporation, McHenry, manufactures closed­loop membrane filtration systems that separate contaminants from the waste stream.

  • ChemNova Technologies, DeKalb, is a spin­off company of Northern Illinois University established to develop and market a single­step phosphate coating that eliminates the health, safety and waste disposal concerns of current metals­coating technology.

Small Industry Category

  • Big River Technologies, Inc., Rock Island, strips paints and plastics for industrial concerns by combining low­tech stripping and blasting with a high­tech fluidized sand bed system that reduces paint and plastic solids to non­hazardous material.

  • Chilo Manufacturing and Plating, Chicago, invested $2 million in new equipment, chemical substitution and processing changes to prevent pollution in its metal finishing operation, saving 50 jobs.

  • Lansing Cleaners, Lansing, installed a commercial carbon dioxide dry cleaning machine to reduce hazardous waste flows, while using new lighting and other energy­efficiency measures to reduce utility costs.

Medium Industry Category

  • Burgess­Norton Manufacturing Co., Geneva, has significantly reduced wastewater and other waste flows in the manufacturing of carbon steel piston rods and shafts for automotive, agricultural and industrial markets.

  • Norcross Safety Products LLC, Rock Island, has reduced the use of solvent­based rubber adhesive and a water­based adhesive in manufacturing rubber footwear through new production processes and waste recycling.

Large Industry Category

  • Archer Daniels Midland Railcar Repair Facility, Decatur, converted to use of low­solvent paints in refurbishing 400 railcars per year, reducing hazardous waste emissions and saving $20,000 annually.

  • Continental General Tire, Mt. Vernon, developed a new system of spraying lubricants onto tire sidewalls in tire­building machines that eliminated toxic emissions and reduced materials costs, saving more than $160,000 annually.

  • National Manufacturing Company, Sterling, uses biodegradable compounds, atmospheric evaporators and a mechanical galvanizing process that reduce waste and emissions in the manufacture of hardware materials, producing annual savings of almost $400,000.

Continuous Improvement Medium Category

  • Ethyl Petroleum Additives, Inc., Sauget, manufactures chemical additives for lubricants. The firm has changed production processes to reduce wastewater contamination, phased out use of hazardous copper sulfate and made equipment repairs to reduce hazardous materials leaks.

  • ITT McDonnell and Miller, Chicago, manufactures boiler controls. The firm has developed a semi­synthetic coolant, redesigned a manufacturing process, eliminated use of solvent­based cleaners and installed more energy­efficient heating, cooling and lighting.

  • Stepan Company Millsdale Facility, Elmwood, has reduced and recycled methanol, sulfonic acid, sulfuric acid and other hazardous wastes generated in its chemical manufacturing operations.

Continuous Improvement Large Category

  • Baxter Heathcare Corp., Round Lake Technical Park, Round Lake, has reduced energy consumption, materials costs and hazardous waste flows in its medical products manufacturing by retrofitting lights, air handling and air conditioning, using non­hazardous solvents, treating wastewater, eliminating cyanide from the waste steam and involving employees in waste reduction efforts.

  • Caterpillar Inc. Technical Services Division, Peoria, developed a new laser technology to extend the life of axles on heavy equipment it manufactures, generating no hazardous waste and saving $480,000 annually. The firm also studied membrane filter technology to remove contaminants from metalwork fluids that may reduce pollution and save the company millions of dollars annually.

  • Commonwealth Edison, Chicago, is being honored for dedicating resources to improve energy efficiency and promote renewable energy; for recycling more than one billion pounds of coal ash; for reducing chemical use in power plant maintenance; and, for company­wide office and operational recycling efforts.

  • International Truck and Engine Corp. (Navistar), Melrose Park, used improved technology to generate no hazardous waste in its manufacturing, while reducing air emissions and non­hazardous waste. The company's new energy management system reduced energy costs by more than $500,000 last year.


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