WICHITA, Kan. — Three Kansas businesses have been honored for their efforts in preventing and reducing environmental pollution.
Smithfield Packaged Meats Corporation in Junction City received a Pollution Prevention with Distinction Award, and Johns Manville of McPherson and Marriot Hotel in Wichita were recognized for their pollution prevention efforts.
The 2018 awards, also called P2 Awards, were given by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for going beyond what is required of them to protect the environment.
Pollution prevention awards are given for projects by businesses or communities that do more than comply with the law. They reduce generation of waste and pollution at the source by using less water, energy, hazardous materials, or other resources. These activities show how pollution prevention projects can reduce emissions and wastes at the source and save companies money, improving overall sustainability.
Smithfield Packaged Meats in Junction City received a Pollution Prevention with Distinction Award for implementing several projects. Two were related to the plant’s packaging processes, including modifying machine dies, resulting in 89,700 pounds of material avoidance, 7,200 pounds of waste reduction, and $327,000 savings annually. The second entailed replacing a packaging machine with two of a newer model that allowed for the use of less packaging material, reducing solid waste by 73.08 tons and saving $56,000 in labor costs annually. The installation of a new liquid smoke system also allowed the plant to recirculate water used in this portion of its process, reducing water usage by 63,000 gallons a week, saving $14,280 annually.
Fiberglass manufacturer Johns Manville replaced its cold glue system with a less toxic hot-melt alternative, eliminating 1 ton of hexane emissions. The move protects the health of the company’s employees by reducing exposure to hazardous air pollutants and volatile organic compounds, as well as eliminating 1,960 pounds of hazardous waste, saving $1,780 annually.
The Wichita Marriott hotel implemented several changes aligned with national corporate goals related to reducing water intensity, carbon intensity, and landfill and food waste, and to relying more on renewable energy. It’s replaced most of it fluorescent lighting with LEDs, with plans to convert entirely by the end of the year, upgraded its HVAC systems and elevators, converted to durable goods for coffee over disposable, provides conference attendees with one sheet of paper rather than a full tablet, and is diverting excess food to staff or the Kansas Food Bank instead of the landfill. The hotel has reduced its annual energy use by approximately 1.7 million kWh, saving $133,000 annually, and saved 1.2 tons of paper.
Kansas State University’s Pollution Prevention Institute partners with KDHE to promote the P2 awards to industry partners and provides applicants with technical assistance related to calculating and reporting data and other aspects of the application. More information about the awards is available online. More information about the PPI is also available online.
— K-State Research and Extension
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