When you hand-make more than a million toilets each year, you end up with a lot of scrap that can be recycled. At Mansfield Plumbing, the quantity of recycled materials is impressive. Ten million pounds of fired scrap, 10 million pounds of spent plaster molds, 330,000 pounds of cardboard and cartons, 8,900 pounds of paper, 3,000 pounds of plastic and 6,000 wooden pallets.
“Earth Day is a good time to share the significant steps we take to assure that our 24/7 manufacturing operation reuses and recycles as much as possible,” says Ed Tinoco, P.E., environmental engineer at Mansfield Plumbing in Perrysville, Ohio. “We recycle 100 percent of our fired scrap and spent plaster mold material, which is about 10,000 tons of material each year. Instead of going into landfills, this material is used as road aggregate that actually leads up to landfill areas.”
In addition to the massive amount of fired scrap and spent plaster, Mansfield Plumbing recycles 330,000 pounds each year of cardboard and cartons that are sorted, cleaned and sold to paper mills that use the reprocessed material by manufacturing it into a variety of paper products. Six thousand unusable wooden pallets are either refurbished or made into mulch material. And, 3,000 pounds of plastic, 8,900 pounds of paper and 520 pounds of aluminum cans are also recycled yearly. Finally, the company has initiated a water conservation program designed to reduce water usage by 10 to 30 percent at its manufacturing facility.
“Our efforts don’t stop with just the hard materials you can physically see in our plant,” says Tinoco. “We actually recycle energy. Waste heat from our kilns is recovered and used in both the drying process of our sanitaryware and to heat our water for factory operations.
“Additionally, we’ve reduced the natural gas needed to operate our plant. We estimate our gas consumption to be about 10 percent below the industry standard on a per pound measurement. We also undertook a lighting project in 2008 that has helped us save about 50 percent of the energy over our previous lighting system.”
Tinoco points out that recycling and reuse efforts at the company are second nature to employees. “Mansfield Plumbing has created a mindset that makes it routine for our team members to actively support environmental initiatives,” says Tinoco. “We have operational excellence guidelines developed that fully support our daily goal of maximizing energy reuse and reclaiming efforts.
“When I leave the plant at the end of the day, I have a good feeling about what our team has accomplished … and it’s rewarding to know that our facility is making a difference in our environment.”
Mansfield Plumbing precision manufactures millions of pieces of sanitaryware and bathware each year at its facilities in Perrysville and Big Prairie, Ohio and in Henderson, Texas. Founded in 1929, Mansfield Plumbing, which is owned by Corona, is a leading producer of top-quality, high-design, performance plumbing fixtures and fittings for use in residential, commercial and institutional markets. For more information, visit www.mansfieldplumbing.com or call 877-850-3060.