JASPER, TN – Tennessee Galvanizing Inc., Jasper, TN, has received the Tennessee 2009 Governor's Environmental Stewardship Award in Hazardous Waste Management. The award recognizes outstanding achievements by businesses, individuals, organizations and educational institutions for successful environmental projects and conservation measures.
In 2008, Tennessee Galvanizing invested $750,000 to specifically reduce its hazardous waste generation by 100 percent. Working with industry partners, the company developed an onsite, closed-loop sulfuric acid recycling unit and a new machine to more completely utilize raw materials. The innovative mechanism behind this success is called The Skim Machine. It was designed and built by Tennessee Galvanizing and is the first of its kind. A patent was not secured on this machine, because the company wants to help other galvanizing companies achieve the same success in hazardous waste reduction. In fact, the company also hosted 15 other galvanizers from around the country at the Jasper plant in 2008 to demonstrate the system. This completely self-contained system now produces more than 1.5 million pounds of ferrous sulfate annually, which in turn is sold for use in livestock feed or fertilizer.
Annual environmental benefits of this new resource recovery and recycling process include elimination of 2,300 tons of hazardous waste in the form of spent sulfuric acid; elimination of 82.5 tons of hazardous waste in the form of spent sodium hydroxide solution; reduced “virgin” sulfuric acid use by 228 tons annually; water consumption reduced by 315,000 gallons annually; natural gas consumption reduced by 20 percent via boiler replacement with tank heaters; and the elimination of more than 100 trucks from the road that were no longer needed to haul spent acid offsite as a hazardous waste.