CHICAGO – Two Ace Hardware paint divisions were among 38 Illinois companies and organizations honored for achievements in protecting the environment, helping sustain the future and improving the economy. The Governor’s Sustainability Awards were presented by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) in Champaign, IL. ISTC is a division of the Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability at the University of Illinois.
Since 1987, ISTC has presented awards to organizations in Illinois that have demonstrated a commitment to environmental excellence through outstanding and innovative sustainability practices.
The Ace Hardware Paint Division plant in Chicago Heights, IL, was recognized for implementing a comprehensive recycling program that prevents more than 50 tons of material from being sent to landfills annually. The company discontinued use of methylene chloride stripper, which eliminated 445 pounds of hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions annually, and installed programmable thermostats to set back night and weekend temperatures. In addition, the plant instituted a process change that recovers product and reduces waste by more than 5,000 gallons annually and installed a waste reclaim system that conserves 176,000 gallons of water per year.
Ace Hardware Paint Division, Matteson implemented a comprehensive recycling program that prevents more than 90 tons of material from being sent to landfills annually. In order to reduce energy consumption, the company installed environmentally responsible lamps with lower mercury content and longer-rated average life, and reduced lighting during off-hours. It also installed programmable thermostats to set back night and weekend temperatures. In addition, the company has discontinued use of methylene chloride stripper, which eliminated 2,400 pounds of HAP emissions annually, and instituted a process change that recovers product and reduces waste by more than 11,000 gallons annually. It also installed distillation equipment to reclaim wash solvent generated in oil-based paint production, which reduces hazardous waste by recovering approximately 83,000 gallons of solvent annually.