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Ohio EPA Director Presents Gold Level Environmental Excellence Award to Kent Elastomer
Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler visited Kent Elastomer in Winesburg today to recognize the company for reaching the highest standard of environmental stewardship. He presented the company with the gold-level award in Ohio EPA’s Encouraging Environmental Excellence (Ɛ3) program.
Kent Elastomer has been in business for 55 years and employs 60 hourly workers at its Winesburg plant, which provides finishing operations, final inspection and shipping, supporting the company’s two other manufacturing facilities. Kent Elastomer manufactures custom dip- molded natural rubber latex and non-latex products for use in the medical, dental, food/beverage, sports/recreation, laboratory and industrial markets.
“Kent Elastomer sets an example to which other companies can aspire and their team continuously looks for ways to reduce waste and conserve natural resources,” said Director Butler. “This company shows that being environmentally responsible is good for the economy and part of being a good corporate citizen. We hope others will follow their lead and go above and beyond the requirements of environmental regulations to make Ohio a better place to live and work.”
“To be honored with two Ohio EPA Encouraging Environmental Excellence Gold Awards for our Kent and Winesburg facilities makes us incredibly proud,” Kent Elastomer President Bob Oborn said. “What we achieved in terms of minimizing waste and reducing energy consumption required a focused effort by everyone in our organization and certainly did not happen overnight. These awards speak volumes about what can be gained from dedication to a common and very worthwhile goal.”
The Ɛ3 program acknowledges Ohio businesses and other organizations for completing environmentally beneficial activities and serves as an incentive to commit to ongoing environmental stewardship. To earn the gold-level award, a business or organization must have a good environmental compliance record and complete environmental stewardship activities that show a strong corporate environmental ethic.
Kent Elastomer has an ongoing commitment to conserve natural resources and improve processes, following a principal of continuous improvement. Solid waste has been reduced by more than half and the company eliminated the use of Styrofoam cups and reduced paper towel usage.
Since earning a silver-level award last year, the company has continued to look for ways to be more efficient and have less environmental impact. Projects expanded in the past year include:
• involving employees in a process that encourages them to observe and write down opportunities for environmental as well as other company improvements;
• materials that no longer go into the dumpster at Kent Elastomer, Winesburg, include cardboard, plastic wrap, bottles, cans, glass, metals, latex, silicone, nylon fishing line, neoprene, corrugated spools, polystyrene spool end caps, food scraps, polyester banding and wood scrap; and
• the company has reduced dumpster loads from 260 per year to 12, saving the company thousands of dollars.
Under the gold-level award, the company will continue to pursue additional environmental improvements. To learn more about the Ɛ3 program, go to www.epa.ohio.gov/ohioe3.aspx or contact the Ohio EPA Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention at 1-800-329-7518.
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.