US – The Hitachi Metals company has been admitted to the state of Wisconsin’s Green Tier programme, which is run by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to recognise businesses that voluntarily meet environmental targets. Waupaca Foundry has also won two awards for its reuse of metal-casting byproducts.

Waupaca has been implementing a plan to achieve sustainable growth by 2020, with targets such as cutting energy and water use by 25% and 80% respectively, reducing spent foundry sand by 30% and promoting the latest pollution control technologies. A corporate environmental manager and staff are employed at each of the company’s six foundries, for the measurement and monitoring of its impact on the environment.

The two awards from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) relate to a project to reuse spent foundry sands and slag byproducts from metal-casting. Waupaca recycles 800,000 tons of sand per year, but eventually it can no longer be reused. Instead of ending up as waste in a landfill, the material is repurposed into clean, non-toxic products for a variety of applications and industries. The company says that more than 75% of its sand byproducts can now be reused in geotechnical fill, road construction and other functions.

Waupaca and the DNR also completed a three-year study to test whether repurposed material can replace the clay soils used in the construction of low permeability barriers in landfills. Select foundry sand byproducts have now been approved as an alternative barrier layer, meaning that Waupaca can reduce landfill construction costs, extend the use of the landfill and reduce its environmental impact.

“Pollution control and recycling ensures a healthy environment for our team members, and creating a sustainable manufacturing process controls cost for our customers,” said Gary Gigante, president and CEO at Waupaca.