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Ohio EPA Director Visits Kenworth to Recognize Company for Environmental Excellence
Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler visited Kenworth truck plant in Chillicothe today to recognize the company’s ongoing efforts in environmental stewardship.
Director Butler toured the facility and learned how the company has reduced energy and materials use through efficiency and recycling. Director Butler congratulated the company and its employees for achieving silver level recognition in Ohio EPA’s Encouraging Environmental Excellence program.
“Kenworth’s efforts have produced efficiencies in nearly every aspect of its operations, resulting in using less water and energy, reclaiming or reusing solvents and wastewater and becoming a zero-landfill facility,” Director Butler said. “Kenworth is proving that large manufacturers can significantly reduce their environmental footprint and save money doing it. I’m proud to recognize this important Ohio company.”
Kenworth has produced more than 500,000 trucks. In 2017 Kenworth’s Chillicothe plant reduced the waste created per truck by 78 pounds, or 2.7 million pounds less for the year. That figure includes reclaiming and reusing 387,000 gallons of solvent, recycling or eliminating the use of about 3 million pounds of cardboard, 5 million pounds of wood and more than a million pounds of metal. The company began a returnable rack project in 2017 that has eliminated 694 tons of cardboard waste and 75 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
By recovering approximately 70 percent of the solvent stream used to clean paint lines, Kenworth Chillicothe’s system became the benchmark for all PACCAR company manufacturing sites.
The company’s energy savings achievements include switching to LED lighting, optimizing and conducting preventive maintenance of machines, staggering air conditioning set points and turning off half the rooftop HVAC systems during weekends. Working with AEP, the facility has reduced electric use by 5 million kilowatt hours.
The facility diverted and repurposed more than 1.25 million gallons of wastewater into a rolled concrete project. Additionally, collected storm water has been used for dust suppressant applications on the facility’s gravel roadways and parking areas, reducing the use of potable water and the application of chemical dust suppressant.
Kenworth is a 100 percent landfill-free facility, meaning none of the plant’s waste goes to landfills. Usable materials such as broken wood pallets are sent to a facility to be ground into mulch. Sleeper mattresses that don’t meet specifications for use in the trucks are donated to homeless and domestic violence shelters. Material that cannot be reused or repurposed is sent to a waste-to-energy facility.
Ohio EPA’s E3 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 a silver-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.
To learn more about the E3 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.