Rich’s philosophy on sustainability is to promote an environmentally friendly and sustainable business. The company does this by improving its operations, innovating products and creating solutions in ways that satisfy customers and also using resources as efficiently as possible. Recycling and water management are two of the key areas where Rich’s is collaborating and sharing best practices to reduce its environmental footprint.
Not long ago, a group of associates at Rich’s Arlington, Tenn., plant went above and beyond to put the company’s sustainability philosophy into action by focusing on reducing waste/wasteful practices. The plant partnered with Recycle Solutions Inc., a large Memphis recycling specialist, to drive continuous improvement in the recycling of plant items that historically were sent to landfills.
The first report from Recycle Solutions said Arlington’s enhanced recycling program diverted 11 tons of plastic from landfills, the equivalent of saving 43 gallons of oil plus more than 1,100 BTUs and 64,800 kilowatt-hours of energy – not to mention 45 cubic yards of landfill space!
The Arlington team is now moving even more material into the Recycle Solutions stream and continues to explore additional ways to make a positive environmental impact.
The mission of Rich’s Energy and Water Program is to reduce the environmental footprint of its operations by optimizing energy and water consumption and using resources more efficiently. Rich’s Brunswick, Ga., plant exemplifies this vision. It continually creates innovative solutions for its wastewater operations, even within a regulatory environment that continues to set more-stringent discharge limits.
Not only did the Brunswick plant receive a Certificate of Recognition for Environmental Achievement, it was also recognized by the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission for excellence in Industrial Pretreatment with zero permit exceedance during the regulatory year March 1, 2010 – February 28, 2011. The organization expressed its appreciation for Rich’s cooperation in helping to minimize water pollution by preventing sewer blockages that can result in sanitary sewer overflows, eliminating pass-through interference at the Academy Creek Water Pollution Control Facility and being good stewards of the environment.
The Brunswick facilities staff has continuously looked for ways to improve its wastewater pretreatment system, such as a sludge decanter operation that reduces the volume of liquid waste disposal and increases solids content.
“Our team is extremely proud of the accomplishments we’ve achieved over the past five years and continues to focus on reducing waste, as well as energy and water use,” said Joel Bearfield, general manager of the Brunswick plant. “Rich’s and the Brunswick team are committed to making the communities in which we operate a better place.”