Shaw recycling gets cooking
Home & Textiles Today Staff -- Home Textiles Today, July 21, 2008
Dalton, Ga. – Cooking oil, collected from employees, friends, family and local businesses, is the latest source of bio-diesel Shaw Industries is employing in the production of certain polypropylene and nylon yarns used to make carpets and rugs.
This new initiative, which was started in late spring and is now in full force, is part of Shaw’s move toward sustainable manufacturing practices. Bio-diesel, the company said, is a more cost-effective, cleaner-burning renewable fuel than petroleum-based diesel.
The benefits of using bio-diesel, Shaw points out, include: that it burns up to 75% cleaner than conventional diesel fuel made from fossil fuels; it eliminates sulfur dioxide emissions because bio-diesel contains no sulfur; it adds no CO2 to the atmosphere; and the ozone-forming potential of bio-diesel emissions is nearly 50% less than conventional diesel fuel.
Shaw is concentrating this effort at its Andalusia, Ala.-based Plant 65 facility, an extrusion, twist and heat-setting yarn plant that manufactures polypropylene, greige nylon, solution-dyed nylon and polyester for carpets and rugs.
In order to use the oil to supply its plant boiler fuel, Shaw invested in a unit that will process 100 gallons of bio-diesel in 48 hours. “Bio-diesel is used as part of the fuel stream for the plant boiler,” explained Cary Baker, Shaw associate. “The boiler produces steam, which is a requirement in the heat set process.”
The $3 per gallon being saved by reducing the amount of diesel fuel used by this facility will offset freight costs and make the facility more financially-competitive, the company noted. In addition, the initiative provides a positive outlet for disposing of used cooking oil from employees and local businesses.
Plant 65 has implemented a facility-wide initiative to collect and use local cooking oil. Employees on site are encouraged to participate in the initiative by collecting discarded cooking oil from friends, family and local restaurants. Complimentary one-gallon jugs are being provided throughout the community, and Shaw is not requiring people to strain or filter the oil they collect.
Since the program launched May 20, employees have collected more than 450 gallons of cooking oil.
“This initiative sends a positive message to the community,” said Baker. “Shaw cares about the environment, and this community cares about Plant 65. It’s a win-win endeavor.”
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