Shortly after STC opened its doors in 1986, the company started recycling the various bits of scrap left over from production jobs. From a conservation perspective, it just made sense not to add recyclable and reusable items to the landfills. From a financial perspective, the company realized a modest return by sending in scrap for recycling.
Through the years at STC, the number of items sent back for recycling and re-use has steadily increased, while the percentage of material sent to landfills has decreased.
So what prompted this trend in the first place?
“Spools,” says STC employee Les Vaughn. “Early on, we realized how many of our empty plastic wire spools were ending up in the landfill, so we got together and talked about what we could do about it. We spoke to our suppliers and came up with an agreement to send the spools back for re-use.”
“From there, we started recycling iron, solder dross, and wire,” Les adds. “And now, of course, we also recycle paper, cardboard, plastic, and aluminum cans.”
“Early on, we realized how many of our empty plastic wire spools were ending up in the landfill, so we got together and talked about what we could do about it. We spoke to our suppliers and came up with an agreement to send the spools back for re-use.”
In recent years, it’s become easier to find ways to conserve materials and energy. In fact, STC replaced all water fixtures with ultra-efficient models last year. Appliances and lights have also been replaced, as needed, with Energy Star models.
STC has addressed the less obvious areas of waste as well.
“There are other areas where we’ve made an effort to reduce waste,” says company President Brad Cross. “For example, we were able to get one multi-function machine to handle the job of one printer, two faxes, and a scanner.”
“We’re also vigilant about making sure our manufacturing equipment is up-to-date and works properly so we don’t end up with large amounts of scrap as it is,” says Cross.
Cross says the long-term goal is to eventually get the plant building Energy Star qualified.
“These types of building use an average of 35-percent less energy than typical buildings, so the advantage is clear.”